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Kazimir Malevich

suprematism

Organized by Matthew Drutt i

i

,

Essays by

Matthew

Gunanova, Jean-Claude

Drutt, Nina

Marcade. Tatiana Mikhienko, Evgenia Vasilii

A Guggenheim Museum 272 pages; 180

In

.

art

120

illustrations,

when

color

(1878-1935) changed the future of

experiments

his

in full

in

painting led the Russian

avant-garde into pure abstraction. He called

Suprematism—ra'h

art of

his

innovation

pure geometric form meant to be

universally comprehensible origin.

and

Publication

1915,' Kazimir Malevich

Modern

Re'trova,

>

Rakitin

regardless

of

cultural

or

His Suprematist masterpieces, including Black

ethnic

Square

(1915) and White Square on White (1920-27), continue to inspire artists

throughout the world.

Accompanying the this

defining

moment

first

exhibition to focus exclusively on

Malevich's- career, Kazimir Malevich;

in

.Suprematism features nearly 120 paintings, drawings, and

among them

objects,

works.

In

letters, texts,

scholars,

several

addition, the

and

diaries,

who shed new

devotion to the spiritual

recently rediscovered

master-

book includes previously unpublished along with essays

light

on

by. international

this influential figure

and

his

in art.

m

D&1 itBS

t-J3

mm

rassas

^^mm


Kazimir Malevich: Suprematism


Kazimir Malevich

MATTHEW DRUTT

u->

Guggenheim m us eu M


on the occasion

Published

of the exhibition

Kazimir Malevich: Suprematism

Organized by Matthew Drutt

Deutsche Guggenheim

Berlin

January 14-April 27, 2003

Solomon

R.

Guggenheim Museum, New York

May 13-September7, 2003 The Menil October

Collection,

3,

Houston

2003-January

This exhibition

is

1

1

,

2004

sponsored by

^

/4L FAB/INK

Kazimir Malevich: Suprematism

Š 2003 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York. All rights

All

reserved.

works used by permission.

ISBN:

0-89207-265-2

Guggenheim Museum 1071

Fifth

Publications

Avenue

New York, New York 10128 Hardcover edition distributed by Harry N. Abrams,

100

Fifth

Inc.

Avenue

New York, New York Book

10011

design: Eileen Boxer

Printed

in

Germany by Cantz

Production: Elizabeth Levy, Tracy Hennige Editorial: Elizabeth

Franzen, Stephen Hoban, Jennifer

Knox White


n O

CO

8

Preface

THOMAS

KRENS, JAMES

Acknowledgments

T

DEMETRION

10

MATTHEW DRUTT Kazimir Malevich: Suprematism

16

MATTHEW DRUTT Malevich, Painting, and Writing:

On

the Development of a Suprematist Philosophy

32

JEAN-CLAUDE MARCADE

The Supremus "Laboratory House": Reconstructing the Journal

44

NINA GURIANOVA

The Optimism of a Nonobjectivist

60

VASILII RAKITIN

The Suprematist Column

— A Monument to Nonobjective Art

TATIANA MIKHIENKO

Malevich's Suprematism

and

Religion

YEVGENIA PETROVA

Plates

Letters

96

and Documents

Exhibitions

238

252

Index of Reproductions

266

88

78


a JO

>

n

On

the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the

Museum and The

Kazimir Malevich: Suprematism. Our collaboration

were

respective institutions

period

in

birth,

artist's

the Solomon

Menil Collection are very pleased to join together is

Guggenheim

R.

the presentation of

especially fitting, for the founders of our

inspired by the spiritual quest

and aesthetic

ideals that exemplify the

Malevich's art explored by this exhibition. Furthermore, his art

generations of European and American

in

became

a standard for

whose works form the cornerstones

artists,

of our

distinct collections.

For the

Guggenheim,

this exhibition

of the Russian avant-garde that

Chagall,

Natalia

Goncharova,

began

is

the latest manifestation of a

early

in

Lanonov,

Mikhail

Malevich entered the collection at an early stage. Moreover, the exhibitions devoted to Russian artists, with

Kandinsky alone. The by the (

1

Guggenheim

first

in

El

and Kazimir

Lissitzky,

museum

has

mounted many

no fewer than nineteen since 1945 devoted

great retrospective of Malevich's

work

in this

in

to

country was presented

1973, with definitive exhibitions of Chagall (1975 and 1993) and

986) following shortly thereafter. Art of the Avant Garde

Collection (1981)

to the art

the institution's history. Masterworks by Marc

Kandinsky,

Vasily

commitment

Russia: Selections

Gabo

from the Costakis

and The Great Utopia: The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde,

1915-1932

remain the two most comprehensive exhibitions ever mounted on the subject, while

Amazons

of the Avant-Garde (2000) offered fresh insights into an understudied aspect of Russian

modernism.

The Menil Collection also contains important works by Russian

artists,

including Ivan Kliun,

Larionov, Lissitzky,

and Malevich. But

prise that finds

greatest affinity with the Menil's history and collections. Beginning with the

its

construction of the Rothko Chapel

commitment

it

in

is

the spiritual idealism at the heart of Malevich's enter-

1971, John and Dominique de Menil demonstrated a

to the notion of a sanctuary defined by

lated into the building designed by

modern works

Renzo Piano to house

of art that ultimately trans-

their collection in 1987. Installations

of sacred art from Antiquity, Byzantium, and the Medieval eras, along with galleries devoted to

the

tribal arts

of Africa, Oceana, and the Northwest Coast, provide an historical backdrop to

depth presentations of modern including

Dan

Flavin,

Barnett

artists

whose own works have

Newman, Mark

in-

a spiritual or enigmatic character,

Rothko, and Cy Twombly. Moreover,

this exhibition


of Malevich's

work

deeper look

offers a

something

at a particular aspect of the artist's career,

that has long been a feature of Menil exhibitions, resulting

new

in

insights

about

artists

long

thought to be well understood.

We so

are therefore greatly indebted to

much

all

of the lenders

to this project's success. At an historical

and scholars

moment when

challenging to sustain sufficient funding for arts programming,

acknowledged here

for their support of this

must thank Alfa Bank, Moscow, and Directors, for his leadership

in

we

tion

particular Mikhail

and continued support.

and The Judith Rothschild Foundation

opening dinner

Foundation,

Inc.,

in

New

York.

who

has

have contributed

become

are deeply grateful to those

We

Fndman, Chairman

would

for their

also like to thank Alexander

We

are indebted to Harvey

in

Houston

The Menil Collection would

Finally,

we

like

to

acknowledge The Brown Inc.,

and The Wortham

his

skillful

The Solomon

T.

R.

Guggenheim Foundation

DEMETRION

Interim Director,

made

The Menil Collection

Matthew

and thoughtful organization

THOMAS KRENS

JAMES

generosity

express our deepest appreciation to

publication.

Director,

whose

We

are also

the presentation of this exhibi-

possible.

for

Collection,

individuals

S.

generous support of the exhibi-

The Cullen Foundation, Houston Endowment,

most grateful to the many

we

of the Board of

Foundation, for their ongoing support of the museum's programs and operations.

tion

increasingly

landmark exhibition. At the Guggenheim,

Gafin and Svetlana Smirnova for their creativity and dedication. Shipley Miller

it

Drutt, Chief Curator of

of

this

The Menil

ambitious exhibition and


> n 7S

O o

The opportunity to

new documentary toward

ing

upon Kazimir Malevich's

reflect

deep and meaningful way

art in a

been able to do so with the benefit of rediscovered works of

lege enough. To have

materials

this exhibition,

is

a once-in-a-lifetime occasion.

privi-

is

art

and

Over the past four years of work-

an extraordinary number of people generously shared resources and

provided crucial guidance and advice.

I

must

first

of

all

thank the key representatives of the

Russian Federation, Mikhail Shwydkoi, Minister of Culture, and Pavel Khoroshilov, Deputy

Mochanov, Deputy

Minister of Culture; Denis

Museum Department this project.

of the

I

am

Solomon

also

R.

at the Ministry, for their

and Anna Kolupaeva, Head of the

Minister;

generous patronage and ongoing support of

once again most indebted to Nicolas

Guggenheim Foundation,

inception and realization of the exhibition.

European Representative

V. Iljine,

for the important role he played I

must

throughout the

my profound

also express

gratitude to

Krystyna Gmurzynska and Mathias Rastorfer of Galerie Gmurzynska Cologne and Galerie

Gmurzynska Zug

who were

Switzerland,

in

private collections, but

who

not only most helpful

arranging key loans from

in

much needed moral support throughout

also provided

the

trials

of bringing this exhibition together.

am

I

Collection,

who

to Susan

grateful

especially

managed

deftly

all

Braeuer,

Megan

who

Luke, formerly Project Curatorial Assistant at the

work on the

thanked

for her

Advisor,

Guggenheim

Menil

aspects of the exhibition and catalogue, with additional

assistance provided by Karolina Zelinka, Curatorial Assistant, Menil.

Assistant at The

Curatorial

Project

exhibition's early stages,

and

also supported

Guggenheim,

Zelfira Tregulova,

is

me

at the

also to be

formerly Curatorial

Russian Projects, once again provided invaluable assistance with regard

to Russian lenders. This exhibition

broke

all

had

its

first

previous records for attendance.

I

would

therefore

and Friedhelm Hutte, Global Heads of Deutsche Bank Reichenbach, Gallery Manager;

and

his

Guggenheim

manifestation at the Deutsche

Uwe Rommel, Head

like

Art,

to thank

GTG

as well assistance of their colleagues Sara Bernshausen, Britta Farber,

his

predecessor,

Ned

10

am most

thankful to James

Rifkin, as well as to Louisa

where

it

von

Art Handler and Exhibition Technician,

the intricate preparations for and installation of the exhibition there.

I

Berlin,

Ariane Gngoteit

as well as Svenja Grafin

team; and Volker Lohs, Deutsche Bank House Technician of

At The Menil Collection,

Dr.

T.

I

for their oversight of

would

like to

recognize

and Jbrg Klambt.

Demetrion, Interim Director, and

Stude Sarofim and our entire Board of Trustees,


staunch support and enthusiasm for the show.

for their

individuals at the Menil

Head

of Exhibitions

Elizabeth

Services;

who

contributed

I

many ways

in

and Programs; Anne Adams,

am

also indebted to the following

to this exhibition:

Registrar;

Deborah

Velders,

Gary "Bear" Parham, Head of Art

Lunning, Chief Conservator; Vance Muse,

Head

of

Communications;

William Taylor, Director of Planning and Advancement; and John Reed, retired Chief Financial

and EC. Moore, Chief

Officer,

At the Solomon for his

Financial Officer.

Guggenheim Museum,

R.

I

must

ongoing support both during my tenure

indebted to the bition: Lisa

many

individuals there

whose

first

at the

of

all

thank Thomas Krens, Director,

Guggenheim and beyond.

I

am

also

efforts contributed to the success of this exhi-

Dennison, Deputy Director and Chief Curator; Marion Kahan, Exhibition Program

Manager; Brendan Connell, Assistant General Counsel; Meryl Cohen, Director of Registration

and Art

Services; Elissa Myerowitz, Associate Registrar; Kathleen

Hill,

Project Registrar; Scott

Wixon, Manager of Art Services and Preparations, Mary Ann Hoag, Lighting Designer,

Jeffrey

Clemens, Associate Preparator; Ana Luisa

Marcia

Fardella, Chief

Manager

if

its

designer, Eileen Boxer,

aspects of the exhibition.

I

Yevgenia Petrova, and

Vasilii

art:

to

Exhibition

Design,

to fruition without the talent

thanked

also to be

is

and imagi-

for her insights into various

appreciation to the authors

whose

essays enrich

Nina Gunanova, Jean-Claude Marcade, Tatiana Mikhienko,

Rakitin.

colleagues at the Tretiakov Gallery,

me

who

my deep

express

our appreciation of Malevich's

allowing

of

Graphic Designer; and Paul M. Schwartzbaum, Chief Conservator.

handsome catalogue would not have come

This

nation

Leite,

I

am

Irina

borrow generously from

further indebted to Mr. Rakitin, as well as to

my

Lebedeva, Tatiana Mikhienko, and Irma Vakhar, for their

forthcoming publication on Malevich, Malevich

o Sebe, which forms the core of the documentary materials and the accompanying commentaries published here in translation for the first time.

I

would

also like to extend

my

special

thanks to Nina N. Suetina for providing the original diaries of Kazimir Malevich, which were of great value to the authors. I

am most

Publications

grateful for the

department,

Communications and

skillful

management

Publishing.

I

would

Editorial Assistant;

Guggenheim's

especially like to thank Elizabeth Franzen,

Editor, Elizabeth Levy, Director of Publications; Tracy

Hoban,

of this catalogue by the

under the leadership of Anthony Calnek, Deputy Director

and Jennifer Knox White,

for

Managing

Hennige, Production Assistant; Stephen Editor, for their consistently

11

outstanding


work.

My

Rishik,

and Molly Stevens.

gratitude also extends to the translators,

Finally,

whose

who

must express my profound gratitude to the following

I

made

generosity with loans has

W.

include Antonina

and

individuals

this exhibition possible: Evgenii

M.

Bouis, Daniel

institutions

Ziablov, Director,

and Mikhail Cherepashenets, Deputy Director, at Rosizo for the works from Russian regional

museums

(A. N.

Museum

Regional Art

Cuno,

Radischev State Art F.

Saratov;

Museum

Suzuki, President, Shin-iche

Numabe,

Alfred Pacquement,

Philip Rylands,

Curator,

Musee

Pans; Prof. Dr. Kasper Konig, Director,

Cologne,

Director,

Hiroshima

James

Prefectural

Hiroshima; Evert Rodrigo, Director, Instittut Collectie Nederland;

of Art,

Dr.

Ivanovo);

Amsterdam; Mathias Rastorfer and Krystyna Gmurzynska,

Gmurzynska Cologne and Zug; Yutaka Tokiwa,

Museum

Museum,

A. Kovalenko, Krasnodar; Regional Art

Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga,

Galerie

of Fine Arts, Ekaterinburg;

Harvard University Art Museums; Theodore Bremer, President, Foundation

Director,

Sakura;

Museum,

Director,

Kawamura Memorial Museum

of

Makato

Modern

Art,

National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou,

and

Dr.

Evelyn Weiss, Deputy Director,

Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice;

Museum

Ludwig,

Private collection,

courtesy Galerie Gmurzynska Zug; Private collection, courtesy Shiraishi Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Vladimir Gusev, Director, Evgenia Petrova, Deputy Director, State Russian Petersburg;

Rodionov,

Valentin

General, State Tretiakov Gallery,

Managing

Director,

Amsterdam; Miller,

Sir

General

Moscow; Rudi

Art,

and

lovlea,

New

York; Natalia Metelitsa,

Modern

Art,

logistics of

in

world

history,

field.

MATTHEW DRUTT Chief Curator, The Menil Collection

12

van Heusden,

Museum,

some

S.

Shipley

The Museum of

Director, St. Petersburg State

Museum

of the

which has had a profound effect on the economics,

organizing international art exhibitions. They are to be

cation to our

S.

Stedelijk

London; Harvey

Theatre and Music. Their support for this project has endured through lenging times

W.

York; Glenn D. Lowry, Director,

Deputy

St.

Deputy Director

First

Fuchs, Artistic Director,

Nicolas Serota, Director, Tate Gallery of

New

Lidia

and Geurt Imanse, Curator, Painting and Sculpture,

The Judith Rothschild Foundation,

Modern

Director,

Museum,

commended

most risks,

of

chal-

and

for their dedi-


Lenders to the Exhibition A.

N Radischev

Busch-Reisinger

State Art

Museum, Saratov

Museum, Harvard

University Art

New

The Judith Rothschild Foundation,

Museums

York

Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga, Amsterdam/Stedehjk Museum, Amsterdam Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum, Japan

Kawamura Memorial Museum Musee

of

Modern

Art, Sakura,

Museum

Ludwig, Cologne, Ludwig Collection

Museum

of Fine Arts, Ekaterinburg

Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice (Solomon Foundation,

New

Galene Gmurzynska Zug

Contemporary

Private collection, courtesy Shiraishi

Regional Art

Museum,

Regional Art

Museum

Petersburg State

State Russian

Ivanovo A. Kovalenko, Krasnodar

F.

Museum

Museum,

State Tretiakov Gallery,

St.

of Theatre

Moscow

Museum Amsterdam

Stedelijk

Museum

Amsterdam/lnstituut Collectie

Rijswijk

Tate Gallery of

& Music

Petersburg

Stedelijk

Nederland

Guggenheim

R.

York)

Private collection, courtesy

St.

Japan

National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

Modern

Art,

The Museum of Modern

London

Art,

New

York

Art,

Tokyo


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BAS/C SUPREMATIST ELEMENT. PAGE DESIGN FOR

7X£ NONOSJECTIVE

WORLD (MUNICH ALBERT LANGEN

VERLAG, 1927) 1927, pencil on paper, low (26.7

x

x 8

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/;

inches

21 6 cm)

Kupferstichkabinett. Oftentliche Kunstsammlung Basel

_E


> -I H I

m o JO c

KAZIMIR MALEVICH: Malevich

S

UPR

unquestionably the most celebrated Russian

is

generation. By the middle of the

his

and Soviet fewer than

home and

last

his colleagues,

five solo exhibitions

his

and during

artist of

Western

century, both

had acquired more of

institutions

those of any of

a

M ATI S M

E

major works than

no

his brief lifetime

were devoted

to his work, both at

abroad. With the single-mindedness of a missionary or

prophet,

1

Malevich spent nearly fifteen years of

his

career

espousing the aesthetic and moral superiority of a system of abstract art he termed Suprematism.

A complete

method theretofore recognized

departure from

Suprematism

any

pictorial

was

characterized by Malevich as "that end and beginning

in art,

sensations are uncovered, where art emerges

adopted many guises

in

the service of this

and administrator to theorist and aesthete, about

a sea

change

in

the

new all

where He such.'" 2

'as art,

from teacher

fashioned to bring

way people thought about

art

and

its

impact upon the world around them.

The

critic

Ernst Kallai,

in

his

review of Malevich's works at the

Grosse Berliner Kunstausstellung (Great Berlin Art Exhibition) 1927, acknowledged ficult to

his singular

accomplishment:

imagine what further development

in

"It is

painting

beyond what has been achieved." 3 But Malevich's

in

quite dif-

is

possible

art did

17

not


">**

and influence

respect

precious few.

And

the history of art reserved for

might not have seemed so at

it

the time

— he encountered great

place

the project discussed below 6

in

Malevich's debut 10,?

in

while

in

the West

difficulty in

was

securing a

—the moment of

a clear indication of his

fc-

burgeoning

stature.

Keenly aware of their segregation from mainstream currents

&^ y-^-U

in

Modern

art,

a

committee of Russian

first

exhibition celebrating Russian achievements

in

for

Western audiences. 7 Opening

FOR THE NONOBJECTIVE

WORLD (MUNICH ALBERT (First

1927, pencil on paper, SVe

x

^0Vl inches (20.6

x

26 7 cm)

the

wake

Modernism of

El

is

to an End," 8 the Erste russische Kunstausstellung

Coming

LANGEN VERLAG. 1927)

in

major

"The Blockade of Russia

Lissitzky's declaration that THE THIRD 8ASIC SUPREMAT1ST ELEMENT. PAGE DESIGN

artists

headed by David Shterenberg organized the

Russian Art Exhibition) debuted at the Galerie Van

Diemen

in Berlin in

Stedelijk

Museum

1922 before continuing on to the

Kupferstichkabinett, Offentliche Kunstsammlung Basel

in

thousand works by always inspire such

ideological leader of the Russian Symbolist

in

representing nearly every

artists

Russian art of the early twentieth century.

group Mir

More than Art),

a

acclaim. Alexandre Benois, the

critical

tendency iskusstva (World of

Amsterdam, presenting more than

half of the exhibition

was made up

of

works by

decried his painting Black Square

more conservative

artists,

such as

Abram

Arkhipov, Benois,

(1915) as a "sermon of nothingness and destruction," 4 Boris Kustodiev,

while over a decade

later,

Alexander Ivanov, and Sergei Gerasimov;

a Constructivist critic sarcasti-

show was

but by far the most notable aspect of the cally

denounced one of

follows: "The only tion

is

his

more recent

good canvas

in

pictures as

presentation of works by

the entire Unovis exhibi-

an absolutely pure, white canvas with a very good

prime coating. Something could be done on

it."

repression, as well as the artist's

into self-doubt,

abandon

which

at the

end of

merely survive,

his art

his

own

his career led

previous concerns.

assumed

the canon of high Modernism,

MATTHEW DRUTT

a

descent

him to

More than

prominent position

commanding

Chashnik, Alexandra

Gustav

Exter,

Klutsis, Lissitzky,

such as

Naum

Liubov Popova,

Alexander Rodchenko, Olga Rozanova, and Vladimir Tatlm.

abstraction for a kind of Italianate realism only

tenuously connected to

Ilia

Ivan Kliun,

artists,

5

Malevich's art outlived such pessimism and decades of

government

Natan Altman,

Gabo,

more vanguard

the

in

a level of

For the full

first

time,

Western audiences were exposed to the

scope and breadth of the dominant poles of Russian

Modernism

— Suprematism and Constructivism —which

had been waging an ideological Russia for several years.

sented

in

And

the exhibition by only

can be positively identified

battle for

supremacy

while Malevich six pieces,

was

two

in

repre-

of which

Suprematism (Supremus no.


55; (1916,

201

)

164) and White Square on White (1918,

p.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the presence of so many works by

and around the Unovis group made

wielded great authority within Russian

make

his

case

tour through Poland and Germany to preach the gospel of his artistic research.

had taken several years

It

get under way. Already

in

works to

around Germany 9

travel

his

me

wave

that the

industrial exhibitions in the in this

area have been

RSFSR and

we must

We

their

of our painting

West

in

over

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

all

new wave

of

yet

new

exhibitions.

is

in

it

was

divided into

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy.

Now

new

currents

in

Modern

two

parts,

"Einfuhrung

lectures

and

articles

variety of iterations since 1922, the

was not

that Malevich

until

formulated

was

finally

In

the

first

part,

he mapped out

.

the

primarily

on

his

own

until

to depart. By then, plans for

had devolved

a larger presentation

into projects focusing

work. Malevich traveled to Berlin

Warsaw, where he had

via

a solo exhibition at the Hotel

Polonia hosted by the Club of Polish Artists. While the

show

received an uneven reception

in

the press,' 2

Malevich's month-long stay, which he inaugurated with a spirited lecture

effect

on Suprematism, was

on the development of

end of the month, he

left

Polish

for Berlin,

to

have a

in

in

a

attempt a more straightforward synthesis

of great interest

granted leave and not

die

of his artistic principles than ever before, translated into a

1926, following several such petitions,

March 1927 that he was able

in

book became a means

there now." 11 It

art.

and "Suprematismus" ("Suprematism").

Western language. .

invited to

("Introduction to the Theory of the Additional Element

for Malevich to

.

Dessau, where they

gegenstandlose Welt (The Nonobjective

Though derived from

of the

been achieved

the area of aesthetics, which

"It

10

in

who

Malevich

Theone des additionalen Elementes der Malerei"

Painting")

works

achievements have been presented.

prepare for a

and

artistic-

of the

shown and the masters

would show what has not

West

is

and

Bauhaus

earlier. In April,

prepare a publication for the series of books being

World),

In his peti-

tion for permission to travel abroad, Malevich noted:

seems to

years

were greeted by Walter Gropius and

Entitled Die

Hannover, at the

an exhibition of

instigation of Lissitzky, to organize

visited the

many

published by the Bauhaus on

him to

1924, Malevich had been

in

invited by the Kestner Gesellschaft

his students'

for

Russia

in

Through Moholy-Nagy, Malevich was

three-month

a

had worked

and Peiper

artistic circles.

embarking on

directly,

Tadeusz Peiper, editor of the Polish journal Zwrotnica, and

found lodging with Gustav von Riesen, an engineer

in

he already

Malevich had an opportunity

Five years later, in 1927,

to

students

his

clear that

it

p.

lasting

Modernism.' 3 At the

accompanied by OND BASK (20 6

19

SUPR:

in text


and

aspects of the

sixty-six illustrations

from the

inspired the foundations of Suprematism,

painterly abstractions of natural

world that had

real

form found

in

Impressionism, works by Paul Cezanne, and Cubism to the

machine-age marvel of airplanes, blimps, ers,

and

aerial

views of cityscapes (creating a perhaps

unintended parity with Le Corbusier's

In

treatise Vers

New Architecture],

architecture [Toward a

years prior).

trains, skyscrap-

une

published four

the second part, Malevich launched into

the realm of sensation and pure feeling, offering a cata-

logue of twenty-four ideal Suprematist forms that

demonstrated the contrasting states derived from the

first

three basic Suprematist elements, the black square, the black

circle,

and the black cross

(pp. 16, 18-19),

more dynamic compositions with connotations

and from

of feeling,

,4 While not (pp. 26, 37, 40).

movement, and sound

completely devoid of the more tortuous language for

which he had become known,' 5 the publication asserted his clearest

and

it

and most cogent explanation of

served to baptize him

officially

his practice,

within the annals of

the European avant-garde.

However, the great watershed of SUPREMATISM (SUPREMUS NO 1915, (66

x

oil

on canvas, 26

x

occurred

in

May

when some

1927,

his visit to

Germany

seventy paintings,

38Ya inches

97 cm)

Stedel ijk

SO)

Museum, Amsterdam

gouaches, charts, and drawings spanning to date

were the subject

his entire career

of a special presentation at the

Greaf Berlin Art Exhibition. No other Russian

even Kandinsky,

who had been

celebrated

in

artist,

not

Germany

long before Malevich, had ever received such distin-

guished attention. Even the normally reserved Russian

Commissar

for Education, Anatoly Lunacharsky, noted,

"The

Malevich,

artist

approach to painting, surprising that

MATTHEW DRUTT

in

in

spite of the exclusivity of his

is,

of course, a great master.

a country

It

is

not

where the incomprehensible


Kandinsky could be successful, the more synthetic and

his

courageous Malevich would find favor, especially after

his

present turn toward hard and harsh painting."' 6 The exhibition

became

a defining

terms of the reception of

of

knowledge

contact with

Malevich's career

the West, not just at

"However,

it

turns out, the works

Malevich's creative work, the foundation of his

in

outside Russia, the primary source

5,

four

continue

his

opened

activity

spite of

in

all

in

the

official press:

of the wonderful aspects of artistic

work

foreign to proletarian culture. His entire

conveys the notion that he, as a bourgeois

artist,

needs

art

not for serving society but only for the sake of form." 19

work

That September, he was

institut istorii iskusstv (State

the Institute for the History of Art).

is

was denounced

April 1930,

in

which

in Kiev,

in

his exhibition closed, to

Gosudarstvennyi

his

the West. His solo exhibition

in

in

of Malevich's oeuvre for the next fifty years.

months before

which prohibited

Russia,

in

colleagues

work

his

Malevich returned to Leningrad on June

at the

climate

moment

the time, but subsequently also; as

shown would become,

precarious position within the prevailing political

He may have planned

OGPU

(United State

jailed for several

Political

months by

Agency) following

his

to

expulsion from the Institute amid accusations by return to Germany, perhaps even to settle there; he

had colleagues there that he

left his

works

in

the exhibition

in

the care of

was

practicing "formalism" (by

Hugo Hanng, that time a blanket

condemnation

for

anyone thought to

the secretary of the architectural association responsible for organizing the

Riesen, with a

show, and had entrusted

package of

concerned about

his fate

materials, Malevich

von

his host,

abroad.

and the disposition of these a will

bourgeois aesthetics), and he was interro-

20

In

his

views on art and

his activities

the transcript of this examination, Malevich

repeatedly defends his

the case of his

in

in

gated extensively about

his writings. Evidently

drew up

be indulging

work

as having

been carried out

untimely death. 17 His apprehensions were well founded;

on behalf of the

Malevich never returned to the West.

attempts on the part of the practitioners of the bourgeois

few

years, his research

and

colleagues at the Institute

art

fell

In

a matter of only a

tendency to win

out of favor with

Leningrad, culminating

in

expulsion and the dismantling of his department as the political climate shifted swiftly toward

in

in his

1930

more

have been, as thirty years of in vain.

Though

to the avant-garde's model. While his solo exhibition at

now dominated

was

well regarded by

some

Moscow

critics,

18

it

in

November 1929

showed the

first

(perhaps brought about by recent paintings earlier

in

mode

days of Cubo-Futurism. He

that returned to the

was no doubt aware

released on

of

on

based on

art,

His contentions

December

of his

life,

by Realist academicians.

which ended abruptly

were

Malevich

8,

in

In

the

last

years

1935 following a

Malevich focused increasingly upon

legacy, bracketing his abstract

political pressure), in a series of

a figurative

finally

2'

increasingly ostracized by a cultural bureaucracy

brief illness,

evidence of Malevich's disillusionment with abstraction

"There were no

over to their side, nor could there

convictions and views

work, are known."

was

in

me

my

staunchly conservative views of cultural production hostile

the State Tretiakov Gallery

ideals of the Soviet state:

his

experiments of 191 5-28

with backdated Post-Impressionist landscapes and

neo-Renaissance portraits designed to create a progression of styles and attitudes

21

in his

work.

logical 22

However,


become known

these works would not

Instead, the

Western view of Malevich's

and Suprematism century

outside Russia

decades after they were made.

until several

was

in particular,

art in general,

much

during

of the last

shaped by the works from the

primarily

Greaf Berlin Art Exhibition, thanks to Haring and the interventions of Alexander Doerner, director of the

Provinzialmuseum the

Museum

of

in

Hannover, and Alfred

Modern

Art

that these works found their

New

in

way

(Fifty-one paintings, gouaches,

York,

958; pp. 22 and

1

in

to

it

into public collections.

29) Over the next

published or exhibited

who saw

and drawings were

Museum

acquired from Haring by the Stedelijk 1

Barr, director of

alone

fifty years,

a variety of contexts,

in

they were

from books

or exhibitions devoted to Malevich to those concerning

abstract art

general,

in

secure his place

moment nized

in

in

all

of

which served to further

the history of

of this phase

art.

23

The defining

was the landmark

exhibition, orga-

conjunction with the publication of Troels

Andersen's catalogue raisonne of the 1927 Berlin show, that traveled to the

New

York

(p.

1973. 24 While

his

works were

American audiences SUPREMATISM (SELF-PORTRAIT 1915, (80

x

oil

on canvas.

3

1

'A

x

j i

k

TWO DIMENSIONS)

view at the

Museum, Amsterdam

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Museum

Guggenheim Museum

Museum

certainly not

in

in

unknown

to

paintings by Malevich had been on

of

broad survey brought a context to

his

Modern

Art since

1936

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

this

Moreover,

its

in

depth and scholarly

historical

work not seen before

in

the United States.

timely presentation corresponded with the

reductivist strategies

dominating American

art at

the time,

the works of Carl Andre, Mel Bochner, Dan Flavin,

Donald Judd, Ellsworth

and

Brice

Kelly, Sol

LeWitt, Robert Mangold,

Marden, among others.

exhibition,

MATTHEW DRUTT

R.

24Vr inches

62 cm)

S tedel

IN

Solomon

23) and the Pasadena Art

In his

review of the

Judd hailed Malevich as the pioneer of


nonobjective colors 1

9

work

is

first

more

and

and

right

there

is

in

than Mondnan's, for example, which

radical

and which ultimately

idealistic quality

has an anthropomorphic,

and low,

now

that the forms

instances of form and color ... His

has a considerable

By

now

the paintings that Malevich began painting

in

5 are the

1

obvious

art: "It's

left

if

composition of high

'abstract,'

change

Art doesn't

sequence.

in

work and controversy many times over

within the context Malevich established." 25

Following that exhibition, slowly increasing access to

artworks

in

both public and private collections

and elsewhere

in

Russia

in

the East progressively yielded a broader

*

understanding of the scope and depth of Malevich's achievements. 26 The

advantage of

this

Hulten for the

first

museum

major

exhibition to take

was Malevitch, organized by Pontus

Musee

National d'Art

Moderne

in

V

V

a

Paris in

1978. 27 Of the 234 objects assembled, only forty-six were paintings (nineteen of which

were Suprematist), and thus

the exhibition offered the most in-depth review of

and graphic

Malevich's drawings

art

KAZIMIR MAievlCH. NOVEMBER

seen to that time,

13,

with the greatest

number

of these

Russian private collections. Even

was

works coming from

more ambitious, however,

in

Petersburg (then Leningrad), the State Tretiakov Gallery

St. in

Museum

Moscow, and the

Stedelijk

Museum

in

1988, which

presented the most comprehensive survey of date, with

some 215

tures, books,

and

followed,

in

utilitarian objects,

approximately (1

in

fifty

of

91 5-30). This

1990-91, by another survey

United States; though slightly smaller far

career to

paintings, drawings, prints, sculp-

which dated from the Suprematist period

was

his

in

SOLOMON

NEW YORK

the collaborative exhibition Kazimir Malevich,

1878-1935, organized by the State Russian

1974,

the

scope and with

fewer Suprematist works, the exhibition occasioned an

23

R

16.

1973-JANUARY

GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM.


extensive scientific study of Malevich's working method,

which yielded new

And

in

1

insight into his painterly technique. 28

992, The Great Utopia: The Russian and Soviet

Avant-Garde, 1915-1932, organized by the Guggenheim

Museum,

included key works by Malevich situated within

Modern

the most encyclopedic exhibition of Russian date, underscoring Malevich's his

the

art to

dominant position among

peers and students and offering Western audiences

scope of Russian Modernism for the

full

since the First Russian Art Exhibition of

But as

much

interpretation

as these exhibitions

1

time

922. M

were

crucial to the

and evaluation of Malevich's

them benefited from the

first

art,

none

of

recent rediscovery of major

paintings and drawings as well as letters and other docu-

mentary materials long thought

lost or

destroyed or else

completely unknown, most of which belonged to the legendary historian, collector, and custodian of the Russian avant-garde Nikolai Khardzhiev. outside Russia

until a

Little

many

than a scholar; he was a trusted associate of

of the

including Velimir Khlebnikov, Aleksei Kruchenykh,

artists,

Kliun, Lissitzky, Malevich, Vladimir

When

known

decade ago, Khardzhiev was more

he succeeded

in

Mayakovsky, and

Tatlin.

emigrating to the Netherlands

in

1993, something he had been attempting for twenty years, 30 SUPREMATISM: PAINTERLY REALISM OF A FOOTBALL PLAYER iCOLOR MASSES 1915, (70

x

oil

IN THE

his collection of

some

1

,350

artworks of the Russian avant-garde and countless

letters

FOURTH DIMENSION)

on canvas, 27V?

x

17Vb inches

44 cm)

Stedelijk

he took with him

Museum, Amsterdam

and documents. 31 Within

this vast repository

were eight

major paintings and hundreds of drawings, sketches, notes,

and manuscripts by Malevich. These materials are

the raison d'etre for the current exhibition.

While the number of artworks collection

been

MATTHEW DRUTT

in

may seem

small

in

the public eye for so

in

the Khardzhiev

comparison to what has

many

years,

it

is

their


superior quality and uniqueness that

makes them so

Smoking a Pipe

Some

art.

works

of the

gaps, while others significantly of his painterly

method

Taken as a whole,

deepen our understanding

tation of Malevich's art to focus

and out

of

its

division of the

is

the

first

The other

major presen-

on Suprematism,

to the

those phases that led him both into

path. Thus

it

provides greater insight into

early

works

1

9 41

1

5,

for the decor of the Futurist

(Victory

opera Pobeda nad solnstem

Over the Sun), on which Malevich collaborated

with Kruchenykh and Mikhail Matiushm five of

the

in

1913. While

these drawings are well known, they are joined for

first

time by three additional sketches from the

Khardzhiev-Chaga Cultural Foundation (pp. 101-03).

in

The drawings are representative of

light

and

to prefigure Malevich's

Malevich's Alogic works are playful and cryptic, employing

In

more the

tional verse of poets like

sense of Victory

than

same way

that the transra-

language

possibilities in

intuitive, absurdist aesthetic that

commonly accepted reason

Over the Sun,

previous

his

Khlebnikov and Kruchenykh

attempted to open up new through an

freely

challenged

visual

form intended to

confound conventional picture making, inventing new from

relations or associations derived

a

"random"

collision

Malevich's Cubo-Futunst style, but they have also long

between seemingly unrelated images and shapes. "We

been regarded as the "unconscious"

come

starting point for

Suprematism. Each of the compositions the format of a square

element

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

later

is

framed within

the primary Suprematist

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and the profusion of planar geometric forms more

that invade the pictorial space looks forward to

dynamic, nonobjective studies done 1

68). In this regard, Malevich's

Victory Over the Sun, Act

2,

historically

work

(

1

ideas without truly resembling a finally

compares

91

in this

been held up as prefiguring

composition,

(pp. 149,

Study for the Decor of

Scene 5

as the singularly nonobjective

1915

in

3, p.

early

later

00),

1

which

group has

Suprematist

known Suprematist

nicely to

both the roughly

contemporaraneous Cubo-Futurist Composition:

all

(as in the libretto for

for instance), Malevich's Alogic

works were experiments with

Amsterdam

where the

33),

1

examples of transrational (zaum) realism repre-

Cubo-Futurist works.

drawings

a selection of eight

5, p.

sented here by three major paintings and nine drawings.

oeuvre with major works. is

91

Suprematist phase are the Alogic compositions of

abstract geometric form

of departure

(1

square into contrasting zones of

the most important phase of his career and broadens his

Our point

111) and the later Suprematism:

3, p.

dark takes three distinct but related tacks.

as well as his use of drawing.

this exhibition

relative exclusion of

chronological

in

fill

91

Square on a Diagonal Surface

fundamentally important to a reconsideration of Malevich's

(1

this

to the rejection of reason," Malevich wrote, "but

has been possible only because a different form of

reason has arisen within

us.

.

.

It

.

has

its

construction and also meaning, and only this

knowledge

will

own

our work be based on a

transrational precept."

32

Alternately

law and

the light of

in

totally

new,

compacted and open,

the Alogic works, which combine images of "real"

elements such as animals,

utensils,

ments with abstract shapes, are

how

world. Thus,

in

many a

instru-

understanding

new

visual

that, while inherently nonobjective in

ance, continued for real

critical for

Malevich would end up inventing a

language

Man

and musical

appear-

years to refer to things

work

like

in

the

Suprematism: Painterly

25


Realism of a Football Player. Color Masses

Dimension (1915,

the Fourth

in

the direct descendant of

p. 146),

Malevich's ideas about the transrational, the composition is

confusing

something that

.

i

.,,..

real;

instead,

has

it

its

own

inherent logic, one

everyday

in

life.

open

Even the "logic" of the work's

no one correct

orientation

is

direction

which to view the work. Assumptions of up,

down,

n-fl^..^. C

interpreted as attempting to represent

both self-referential and remotely tied to experi-

is

ences

if

in

to question: there

or sideways are

thrown

is

into chaos, at least they

,,,,..

were ing in

in

which a given composition resolved

and

this essay

"Letters

in

itself visually

the exhibition views illustrated

and Documents"

The exhibition of Suprematism,

finally

way (hence in

the

in

section).

unfolds into the orthodox space

opening with the basic Suprematist

forms of the square, *~:rr_

of display-

various ways, constantly redefining the

the alternate orientations of a few works reproduced

%

~.^U-

when he was fond

Malevich's lifetime,

in

works

circle,

and cross and ending with

&^*Jn*jt-

Malevich's early forays into figurative adaptations of

Suprematist principles ELONGATED SQUARE, PAGE DESIGN FOR THE NONOBJECTIVE

WORLD (MUNICH ALBERT LANGEN VERLAG, 1927, pencil on paper, (20 6

x

8'/s x

1927)

)0Vt inches

in

the late 1920s. While Malevich

painted four versions of Black Square during this exhibition

marks the

33 his career,

occasion that the original

first

26.7 cm)

Kupferstichkabmett, Off en tliche Kunstsammlung Basel

painting from 1915 significant

panied

in

in

and of

is

being

itself,

the exhibition by

primary phase, Black Cross (1915, latter

were

p.

outside Russia. This

but Black Square its

(

1

is

9

of which have never

1

5, p. 121),

5, p.

known

MATTHEW DRUTT

123), the

been shown since they

was

only through a documentary photo-

graph of Posledniaia futuristicheskaia vystavka

kartin,

10" (nul-desat): The Last Futurist Exhibition of

is

accom-

same

Black Circle

exhibited by Malevich. Elongated Plane

heretofore

"0.

also

three siblings of the

120) and Elongated Plane (191

two first

shown


Paintings: "0. 10" [Zero-Ten 1, held

and

variant form illustrated

its

And

(p. 26).

Petrograd

in

1920s versions

of which are

in their

the collection of the

in

Museum), the 1915 paintings

State Russian

and Black

Circle,

shown together many times

(all

1915,

The Nonobjective World

in

while Black Square, Black

Cross have been

in

offer a

completely different experience. They are more intimate in

and more densely painted, and they contain the

scale

scumbled surfaces, intuition that

chalky,

we

and

is

intensity of

brushwork, and aura of

completely absent

thinly

the

in

more

resolved,

rendered versions of the 1920s. Thus

have the opportunity for the

time to regard

first

Malevich's primary Suprematist objects as a group

their

in

original versions.

Two were

other Khardzhiev works from this period, which

also previously

known

photographs or references

more

only through documentary

in

correspondence, offer even

insight into Malevich's painterly

Realism of a Peasant

Red Square (1915, p

Woman 127),

which

Malevich's

comrade Matiushin,

and again

this first

work, which

in scale.

34

Pictorial

first

in this is

called

one time belonged

at

the

is

the other by only several months,

and intimate

skill.

Two Dimensions,

in

of

two

to

versions,

case might predate

more

richly

composed SUPREMATIST PAINTING BLACK RECTANGLE. BLUE TRIANGLE

The ruby red pigment of the

1915.

square form has a depth and glow that to the

flatter,

relative,

shape

on

a

later

work, which

here the red form

white rectangular

field,

is

stark contrast

in

is

square

situated slightly

placing

of paintings like Painterly Realism.

Color Masses

in

more evenly composed orange-red of

and unlike the

overall,

is

it

(66 5

in

askew

Boy with Knapsackp.

128) and

Suprematist Painting. Black Rectangle, Blue Triangle (1915,

p. 129).

However, Suprematist Composition with

27

on canvas. 26

57

Stedel'ik

its

within the context

the Fourth Dimension (1915,

oil

x

Museum. Amsterdam

>ies


Plane

Projection (191

in

painting by Malevich

Known

now

until

graph of

in

5, p.

131)

is

form, composition, and technique.

(p.

painting has a thick, enamel-like surface that teristically tight.

is

255), the

(1917,

uncharac-

in

crackled, as

in

some

variation

in

milky white ground

is

almost without

of this year or any other period. ity

enameled

of an

works

rich luster

and

depth afforded by the lapus blue pigment and the

smoothness of

lacquer-like

The

its

1915 to 1917

is

known

previously

from

its

Suprematist Composition (1915,

in

in

ings close to

date (such as Suprematist Painting: Eight

it

in

p.

1

forms

91 6,

p.

1

to

one another by the appearance of magnetic or

static order,

even

when

the forms appear to hang freely

it

that

is

entirely unique, providing a substantial

MATTHEW DRUTT

form dissolves

and lower-right

recedes from the painting to an imagi-

the other end of the spectrum

more

static

tions

in

composition

Suprematism of

is

920,

Spirit) (1

known through

drawing and graphic form but

its

until

p.

227), a

many

itera-

now unknown

dimensions of Suprematism became more

formally linked with religious painting through Malevich's

in

It

in

the

(as in

two

[1

230-31]), Suprematism of the Mind

literally

Suprematist icon, painted on a in his

is

wooden

Finally,

a

panel, entirely

oeuvre, and as compelling

scale as Dissolution of a Plane

is

versions

920-22, pp.

of Suprematism (Mystic Suprematism)

modest

way

at the top-right

Mind (Suprematism of the

tumbling black shapes, offset by a small yellow

thus expands upon Malevich's vocabulary of this period

193), a large planar

expanse of a white void, rendered even

literally

unique as such

a

p.

Suprematist

nary plane beyond.

space, Suprematist Composition offers a cacophony of circle.

belongs to

it

when compositions

sibling,

adaptation of the Orthodox cross

43] and Suprematist Painting

77]) are characterized by multicolored

40),

successfully here by virtue of the plane's disappear-

spiritual

bound

[1

(p.

as a painting. Dating from the period during which the

here

the exhibition. Whereas other paint-

but not included

Red Rectangles [1915,

more

On

form and conception:

p. 149), illustrated

more famous

in its

into the infinite

the

only through a photograph and very

contemporaries

As

Painting (1917-18,

highlighted by

another work formerly belonging to Khardzhiev, also

different

the next phase of Malevich's work,

corners;

of Suprematism, from

(pp. 165, 174, 141),

has a dramatic, almost

Suprematist repertoire through one of the

ance from the picture

white ground.

more dynamic phase

next,

in his

existence.

its

The painting has the qual-

due to both the

object,

it

resonance and states of feeling linked to ethereal form or

because of

parallel in his

by far the largest Suprematist painting

took on greater associations with magnetic and acoustic

in

the ingredients of the pigment, for

is

drawings for The Nonobjective World

the extreme case of the 191 5 Black Square.

Projection, however, remains intact, perhaps

p. 191),

by Malevich, and, as such,

24 forms

these early years, so the compositions are often

The surface of Suprematist Composition with Plane

work only

168).

(p.

imposing presence. Previously identified as one of the key

appears that Malevich often painted

It

in his

Yet another rediscovered work, Dissolution of a Plane

over the surface of works before they had completely dried

through minor drawings

only through a documentary photo-

from Malevich's 1920 exhibition

it

example of formal ideas previously known

unlike any other

in its

in its

enormity.

a recently restored architekton, Suprematist

Architectural

Model (1927,

p.

209),

is

reintroduced into


the

now

Malevich

sparse inventory of architectural forms created by in

the early to mid-1920s.

discussed at length

in

Its

significance

Vasilii Rakitin's

and Nina Gounanova's

compellingly clear

is

Tatiana Mikhienko's essay. Along

Russia. 3

''

However,

in

also stopping at the threshold of the

1920s and

model presents a very cogent

articulation of

human

figure.

phase

the late

in

1930s when Malevich returned to the

The few works included here from that

how

Malevich's application of Suprematist principles into the

phase (pp. 130, 232, 233) demonstrate

realm of the practical.

tions of the Suprematist figure are inseparable

The exhibition

from new information

also benefits

about the dating of works, something that

complex

oeuvre due as

in his

much

intentionally misdating pieces as to

evidence. (Malevich

insisted, for

to his

1915.) Here again, in

we

the end of his

life.

The works that followed upon these

letters

and

truncated, chapter

in

Malevich's art that,

very different story than the

one

the Khardzhiev archive, as well as from the

recent publication of Andrei Nakov's

first

this publication reflects certain it

is

not absolute

volume of the in

assumptions about

in this

works

regard: certain

have been grouped together as much according to formal relationships as to their dates.

At the beginning of this project

this essay,

it

was suggested

that

seeks a more in-depth look at Malevich's

Suprematism than has previously been undertaken. This has been afforded by a greater concentration of

Suprematist paintings and drawings than

mous

exhibitions of Malevich's work.

his

in earlier

posthu-

As one of the

project's premises,

we

important work of

his students,

much

more comprehensive undertaking

larger,

Indeed, his

if

not

work

rated from his

decided not to include the very

which would make for

a

as a teacher cannot be absolutely sepa-

work

as an

artist,

toward

took an entirely different tack, beginning a new, albeit

1913 rather than

have benefited from the

from

abstract form by

mystical connotations that he brought to his art

habit of

any previously missing

in

in

his first itera-

Malevich, and thus are representative of the increasingly

extremely

catalogue raisonne. But while the sequence of works

chronology,

certain formulations of the Crucifixion

example, that Black

Square and other works were created

documents

is

own

in

chose here to be more orthodox,

structed architektons and a small selection of utilitarian objects, the

and made

a recent exhibition presented

we

with several other partially original and partially recon-

early

essays,

something suggested

in

29

in

told here.

the end,

is

a


.

Lanonov, and Ivan Puni, whose

Notes 1

Of course, while

his

widely collected by Russian his lifetime, their in

museums

in

subsequent repression

the 1930s kept them hidden from the

solo exhibitions of Malevich's

during his lifetime were

already a subject of

1983)

remarks (cited

heard the

made an attempt

I

to read the

grandiloquent and obscure theoretical

works by the leader of the Suprematists.'

9 See the .

"I

also taken aback by his

letter

from the Kestner

seems

In

a confused manner, he

somehow

to try to

goals

link his

Dimitrovka

Salles B

(formerly Salon K

discus-

the Documents section

in

of this publication):

writings

Malevica Ego put' ot impressionizma k

suprematizu

some

Consider Anatole Lunacharsky's

sion

(March-April 1922), unpaginated

5

K.

15 His reputation as a convoluted writer

was

Germans were

Art.

8 Veshch/Gegestand/Ob/et. no 1-2

gos

Vystavka PersonaTnaja vystavka

had

five

work held

76-a;a

(London Annely Juda Fine

cat

The

public eye until the late 1980s.

art

shown in gallery exhibitions in France and Germany See The First Russian Show: A Commemoration of the Van Deimen Exhibition Berlin 1922, exh already been

works were

Mikhailova),

Moscow,

opened March 25, 1920, Wystawa

Gesellschaft, Hannover, to Malevich,

and path with the Revolution and with

December

God." See also Jean-Claude Marcade's

30, 1924,

the Documents

in

section of this publication.

essay

publication

in this

Kazimiera Malewica, Club of Polish Hotel Polonia, Warsaw,

Artists,

March

1

Malevich could be referring here to

20-25, 1927; Sonderausstellung

the large presentation of Russian art at

Malewitsch, part of Grosse Berliner

the Exposition international des arts

Kunstausstellung, Lehrter Bahnhof,

decoratifs et mdustnels

Berlin,

May 7-September

Malevicha,

Decorative and Industrial Arts), Grand

Vystavka proizvednii K.

S.

Moscow, opened

The circumstances of

of his

works

"Malevich

November

1929; and Personalnaia

1,

1 1

left

the Stedelijk

in

Glavnauka requesting permission to

December

2.

Kazimir Malevich, "Suprematism"

(before 1927), K. S.

Troels Andersen,

in

Malevich: The

ed

,

tion.

pp. 44-54,

reviews

the

in

(Los Angeles:

Documents

Kunstblatt, no

7 (1927).

review

full

Malevich

in

the Club

Documents

18. See, for

March

of this publication: A. Fiodorov-Davydov,

30, 1927)

and Jan

Klescinski, article

and Form Essays on the

Development of

Polish Art"

Warsaw,

S

1928-1929, Maliarnoie

L'art vivant

Musee

National d'Art Moderne,

19.

I.

V.

(No. 2,

in

S.

the Documents section of

this publication.

183 Centre Georges Pompidou, 1983)

See, for example, the following text

The

full

transcript of his examination

in

drawings for

14.

The

this

book, some of which are reproduced

the Documents section of this publication: Letter

Deb

See the commentary by

Yefimovich

20. 6.

And

Problema tsveta vzhivopisi

1931).

13 See Presences Polonais:

(Pans: p.

the Documents section

speech

section of this publication

3(1923),

in

the

lutkevich, "Sukharnaia stolitsa,"

LEF, no.

example, the following

"Iskusstvo K.S. Malevicha." Kliun,

autour du Musee de Lodz, exh cat 5

Armand Hammer Museum

Cultural Center, 1990),

commentaries

ca. 1931).. in

"Berlin 1927," in

Suprematism, Kuner Poranny (No 89,

"Idea

See Alexandre Benois, "The Last

Futurist Exhibition," transcript of

and

1988),

of Polish Artists and the Theory of

Suprematism (excerpt from the

publication.

1916,

and pp 22-27

of Art

the Documents section of this

1,

Museum,

section of this

Konrad Vmkler, The

Exhibition of Prof

"Kazimir Malevich,"

on January

and

example, the following

1978), p. 146

delivered

Stedelijk

Kazimir Malevich 1878-1935, exh cat

3. Ernst Kallai,

4.

in

Museum,

State Tretiakov Gallery;

Amsterdam:

publication

The

Moscow:

the Documents section of this publica-

12. See, for

1913-1933 (Borgen Copenhagen,

in

(Leningrad: State Russian in

Artist, Infinity,

Suprematism, Unpublished Writings

appears

1925,

9,

Museum,"

Kazimir Malevich, 1878-1935, exh. cat

See the petition from Malevich to

travel abroad, ca.

departure

his

there are well docu-

vystavka Malevicha, Kiev Picture Gallery, ca April-June 1930.

the

mented. See, for instance, Joop Joosten,

1925

Palais, Paris,

in

section of this publication.

from Germany and the eventual dispersal

Modern

(International Exhibition of

See the review by Lunacharsky

Documents 17.

modernes

30, 1927,

State Tretiakov Gallery,

16.

full

set of original

is

published for the

volume

(see the

first

time

Documents

in this

section).

from Malevich to David here, are in the collection of the

Shterenberg, February 16. 1921, Vitebsk. Kupferstichkabinett of the 7.

was by no means

Russian art

complete mystery to the West, but

was the

first

show

developments

in

to focus

Russia as

the work of emigre

this

more on

They contain

Malevich

in

Kunstmuseum

inscriptions by

Russian and

German

ing to the significance of

pertain-

each form, and

opposed to

many

also carry the spurious date of

such as

1913,

this

has contributed over the years

Alexander Archipenko, Lev Bakst,

to confusion

Alexandre Benois, Marc Chagall, Natalia

Suprematist work.

Goncharova,

MATTHEW DRUTT

artists

Basel

a

Vasily Kandinsky, Mikhail

in

dating Malevich's

first

21

Ibid.

22 For an excellent summary and evaluation of this in

work and Malevich's dates

general, see Elena Bassner, "Malevich's

the Collection of the Russian

Paintings

in

Museum

(The Matter of the

Creative Evolution)," in

the Russian

in

Museum

Artist's

Kazimir Malevich (St.

Petersburg

Palace Editions, 2000), pp. 15-27.


example, Louis Lozowick,

23 See.

for

Modem

Russian Art

(New York Museum of Modern Art, Societe Anonyme, Inc 925), Cubism and Abstract Art. exh cat (New York: Museum of Modern Art. 1936), Fantastic Art. Dada. and Surrealism, exh cat (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1936), Konstruktivisten

Vienna, either to collect the

Musee

the sale of the works or to arrange for

National d'Art Moderne. Centre

Georges Pompidou, 1978)

unsuccessful

exh cat (Basel

28 See Milda Viktunna and

Lukanova. "A Study of Technique: Ten

Kunsthalle. 1937), The Collection of the

Anonyme, exh

(New Haven:

cat.

Yale University Art Gallery, published for

the Associates

Fine Arts, 1950);

in

d'Art

and Cultural Center, 1990). pp 187-97. The exhibition also traveled to

the National Gallery of Art. Washington

and the Metropolitan Museum

Musee

The Los Angeles County Museum of

Russian avant-garde

Moderne.

Paris, in

1978

1980, but

in

who was

in

February 2001 to ascertain

was

it

pictures,

which are allegedly

Art,

1863-1922 (London: Thames and Hudson, 1962); and Art

in

Revolution:

and Design since 1917. exh (London: Hayward Gallery, 1971).

Soviet Art cat

24 See the accompanying publication, Troels Andersen, Malevich:

Catalogue

its

exhibition, and. characterisits

subject matter, contains

dence and documents related

to this

1910-1 930:

New Perspectives MIT

30 Khardzhiev

Press,

originally

emigrate to Sweden

With the assistance of

intended to

his friend

Roman Jakobson,

including the Collection in the Stedelijk

brated linguist

Museum, Amsterdam (Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum, 1970).

emigrated to the United States

who

the decade, he

and

the cele-

in

earlier in

contact with

Bengt Jangfeldt, a former Jakobson

Donald Judd, "Malevich: student

in

America, vol 62, no. 2 (March-April

pp 52-58; reprinted in Donald Judd: Complete Writings 1959-1975

was

living in

Stockholm, The plan

for Jangfeldt to set

house

up a publishing

for Russian literature. Gileia, as a

1974),

(New

York:

New

to

be said on

currently

more

country, using

this subject,

working on an

specifically

I

am

is

much more

money from

and

am

I

article

many

particular

Gmurzynska Hutton,

in

Inc., in

now

divided

Foundation

in

Cultural

Amsterdam and RGAU

(the Russian State Archive of Literature

and

Art) in

Moscow. See John

and Mark Konecny.

eds.,

A

E.

Bowlt

Legacy

Regained: Nikolai Khardzhiev and the Russian Avant-Garde

(St

Petersburg

Palace Editions. 2002, which includes an excellent selection

and

translation of

he was to send from Russia to Sweden.

placing this

new

information

in

context

32. Malevich, letter to Mikhail Matiushin,

June 1913, cited

in

Evgenn Kovtun,

Malevich were sent to Jangfeldt the 1960s

"Kazimir Malevich: His Creative Path,"

Suprematism with Micro-crossing

on the

Elements (79

x

70 5 cm); Whife on

Khardzhiev's bid for emigration failed at that time, the paintings

returned to him

in

in

bringing art

Moscow

State Tretiakov Gallery;

Amsterdam

Black Cross (79 x 79 cm) While

New

made ensuing museum

Museum, and Museum, 1988).

(Leningrad State Russian x

Black/White Square (79 x 79 cm), and

Cologne, and Leonard York beginning

in

Kazimir Malevich, 1878-1935. exh cat

79 cm). Elongated

topic

importance here are the

the 1970s Their efforts

out of Russia

manuscripts, and artworks from Russia,

and the holdings are

dated August 28, 1977, four works by art in

London, Galerie

in

his

documents,

According to a piece of correspondence

exhibitions organized by Annely

Juda Fine Art

the sale of

dealing

Square/Ochre (79

26 Of

Khardzhiev was unable to export

31

entire collection of books,

documentary materials as well as essays

grateful to Rudi Fuchs

for his suggestions

century"

artworks belonging to Khardzhiev, which

with the question of

Malevich and American

and 1970s.

cover for getting Khardzhiev out of the

York University Press,

1975). pp. 21 1-15 There

condemned

between the Khardzhiev-Chaga

successfully

was put

of his letters to

the episode as "the theft of the

1980)

the late 1970s

in

In

Jangfeldt for deceiving him, referring to

in Russia,

colleague

Independent Form, Color, Surface." Art

some

Mets, 1999)

(Cambridge, Mass

collec-

(Amsterdam Uitgevenj Jan

Jakobson, Khardzhiev

The Avant-garde

2000)

episode, see Hella Rottenberg. Meesters,

Stephanie Barron and Maurice Tuchman,

Raisonne of the Berlin Exhibition, 1927,

25.

is

In

in

the collec-

Museum.

St

Malevich's Circle

p

Stedelijk

1

920s- 1 950s, exh cat

Petersburg State Russian

Stockholm. However, they declined to

occasionally erroneous information See

,

Russia,

discuss the matter further For correspon-

of scholarship from this period,

eds

Petersburg

Confederates, Students, Followers in

in

tie-ChardZjiev

Gallery, 1962). Camilla Gray,

35 See

the

in

marodeurs De lotgevallen van de

The Great Experiment Russian

also

Petersburg

scope of

Grosvenor

is

visited

I

catalogue, while noteworthy for the

Russian Art,

is

the State Hermitage

tion of the State Russian

chief prosecutor at the time

Decades of Experiment

in

St

34 The second painting

Stenholm, whose wife was Stockholm's

tic

(London.

in

is

Museum,

assisted by legal counsel Tor

possession of a private collector

comprehensive than the

Guggenheim

the

the Tretiakov. and the fourth, from the

1930s,

via

Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, 1959), Two

cat.

in

the whereabouts of the other three

1878-1935. exh cat (London

1902-1922. exh.

Moscow, the second, from ca 1923. in the State Russian Museum, St Petersburg, the third, from 1929.

in

National

Swedish dealer William Aronowitsch,

Stenholm

Art organized a broad survey of the

(Rome Gallena

in

of Art,

29.

Malevic. exh cat

is

York

Brauschweig. 1958), Kasimir Malevich.

less

from 1915,

with Aronowitsch, Jakobson, and

(Braunschweig Kunstverein

Gallery, 1959): Casimir

121) eventually ended up

(1915. p

1878-1935

Armand Hammer Museum

,

Whitechapel Art

version,

the Tretiakov

in

Gallery," in Kazimir Malevich

(Los Angeles

New

Kasimir Malewitsch, exh cat.

either regard Black Cross

the collection of the Paintings by Malevich

first

Alia

of Art

Societe

in

33 The

collection of the State Tretiakov Gallery.

him She was apparently

their return to

1

IConstructivists).

money from

27 See Malevitch. exh cat (Pans

154

were never same piece of correspondence, Khardzhiev gave power In this

of attorney to a Dr Rosemaire Ziegler of

projects possible

31

(St

Museum,


PAGE FROM KAZIMIR MALEVICH. 5UPH6MATISM 34 DRAWINGS (VITEBSK

UNOVIS, 1920)


>

> c o m > 30

n

MALEVICH, PAINTING, AND WRITING: ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF A S U P R E M ATI ST PHILOSOPHY In

a

passage from

his

m-

famous lithographed pamphlet Suprematizm:

34 risunka (Suprematism: 34 Drawings, dated December 1920, and written and published

founder of the most toric

radical abstraction to

pictorial

and writing

5,

Kazimir Malevich,

emerge from the

his-

sets forth the relationship

I

painted

pamphlet on the 'pure

a

1

and philosophical and/or theoretical

practice

"The white square that

writing:

made

possible analyzing

2

The black square

act.'

economy that introduced as the fifth measure in The question of economy became the main vantage point

defined the art.

Vitebsk),

European avant-garde of 1910-20,

between

it

in

1

from which (which result,

is it

I

I

examine

all

the creations of the world of things

my main work) no

seems as

longer with a brush, but a pen. As a

not possible to obtain with the brush what

if it is

can be obtained with the pen. The brush obtain nothing sharper." At the

in

insofar as

is

space of the

tattered,

and can

the twists and turns of the mind; the pen

end of

retreated into the

is

this short text,

domain

possible,

human

I

states:

of thought, which

will

skull."

he

set forth

what

I

is

"I

new

espy

in

is

myself have to me,

and

the infinite

3

33


who was

The painter Anna Leporskaia,

COMMENTARY

FIRST

very close to

Malevich gives a chronological and logical order to theory

Malevich from the

and

sized the spontaneous, instinctive, even unexpected

work.

practice, with theory following after the created

Of course, the

artist

is

is

Suprematist

in

For

art.

sionism. Rather,

is

it

painting

in

motion by philosophical thought," 4

stages, a

Suprematism has

movement

"In

or,

of cognition through color,"

5

an act that

a single act,

in

u-

set

come

He

exactly constituted the black square.

was such an important event whole week

empha-

1935,

in

(so

what

realized that this

in his artistic

career that for a

he himself related) he could neither drink

nor eat nor sleep." 7

SECOND COMMENTARY With regard to the "brush" and the "pen," Malevich us that the former

is

"tattered,

"sharper."

he ventures into the "domain of thought" and

tells

and can obtain nothing

the twists and turns of the mind" and that the latter

clearly reveals the

world as the objectless (mir kak bespredmetnost).

When

death

its

movement,

he means that

the pictorial and the philosophical (the noetic)

together

is

one of

a purely philosophical

ill

When

philosophical action.

Malevich writes, "This hard, cold, humorless system in

in

it

his

that the painter "did not know, did not understand

that, Suprematist painting

all

not philosophical painting, for this would situate

1920s to

character of the emergence of Black Square. She reports

constantly thinking while creating:

the act of thinking and the act of making are inextricably linked

late

in

is

saying that the pen, which writes and tran-

In

scribes thought,

goes to the innermost depths of the

begins to write, Malevich disassociates these two indivisible

world's authenticity, the painter

stages of creative work; he looks into the act of the

brush and the pen search for the same thing: the authentic

creative mind, into the noetic act that coincides with the

living

The painter of the 1915 Black

intuitive act of creation.

Square

is

clear

on the

The Suprematist stage

new

three stages occurred within

its

me

circumstance showed

prism,

distinguished by the absence of color

one of

color

in

accor-

dance with the forms of the three squares. This was accomplished intuitively

meaning, on which lished

...

without regard for the reason of their

[stikhiino],

my

I

am

Suprematist

attempting to shed line

objectless world, a nonfigurative

and the

light today.

line of life in

I

cal, if

not

other

in

found

I

their similarity to a

of color. Three stages black,

were elucidated

and white, which made

and to elucidate the future white period

in

in

it

in

They have

art,

pen

identi-

Because they complement each

art are, in

same

thing

"we'll talk

estab-

it

different

just as

we

in

a

say

through."

For Malevich, therefore, writing his

in

the best and special cases,

state of dialogue, colloquium, explanation

general as

possible for

Suprematism:

me

the white square,

JEAN-CLAUDE MARCADE

thing.

own

creation.

Two

is

necessary to under-

aspects coexist

in his

graph on the movement writings: the

in

terms of a of

development of

a

thought on being, on what

color,

to build a graph

the construction of the world

Suprematism. 6

similar, sites.

their search, saying the

ways, writing and

standing energy, and

God. Writing and

that

and two stages

— black and white —

also implying that the

world, the rhythms of universal excitement, the

and brush therefore say the same

subject:

as a

is

new

objectless

is,

an ontology; and an explanation, according to

ontology, of Suprematism as the

outcome

this

of a pictorial

process that began with Paul Cezanne. Malevich's texts

thus present us with both an original philosophy

several


theorists, in particular the

Martineau,

8

French philosopher

have been able to place

Western philosophy

it

Emmanuel

within the history of

— and an account of the

different

stages and meaning of Suprematism

The case of Malevich

is

unique

in

the history of art

because he was both a great painter and a great

Many have

thinker.

painters from Leonardo da Vinci to Vasily Kandinsky

philosophical thoughts, but Malevich created

left their

•(*«!»

c ».

an ontological system, a reflection on beings (das Seiende), referred to

writings as

in his

"phenomena"

yrax* ImaCi

(iavlenie),

"circumstances" (obstoiatelstva), "distinctions" "differences"

(razlichiia),

and "being"

A- T

-'-»

Bti

(otlichiia),

(bytie).

M MUJKMMM (MMnnrrrTi-

T^ n« •©MlnXWAVW t+Ss*t «0*tl*« «.L*OLM *CM*0fMC.*O» If^i^XrK IV! *Onr«ALTB» »0*M ClWHf LA-VO* <-3f*AVAI TfAA ~

ft

"Professional philosophers" have always been suspi.

who

cious of painters

write.

A

great mind

TgfO^lfc.. t^.-ttort* to

-^^*.* „-3T*f< -« •

ft MA>T

who

-

->,/"

.

-

~

displayed OAK* J

i

skepticism

this

Gilson,

who

was the

philosopher-medievalist Etienne

wjwrcn h cttcm^moi

fvi«

. cjko^t

Being a painter doesn't prevent the

artist

from also being a

writer,

but he won't be able to practice both at the same time. Real painters are well

..

,..

.^~ '-

—-

- -s-

—,'v—

c-

-rt.—

...

K)*»*AThT*CA

• r(*0«*iAO*<*

SrSSft," SSftf

when

(VITEBSK. 1919)

he retreated into the "domain of thought" between 1920

comments appear

to substantiate

cisms leveled at Martineau and myself

we had

forgotten Malevich

took the plunge into

men have

other

that

essence,

in

is,

in

art,

some

was

his writings.

they write or talk about their

difficulty as

in

example worst

—a

painter

are

that

when

a painter

painters have as

much

expressing themselves on a subject

foreign to language. They have the great

the best cases

cases

criti-

ago

years

Gilson also writes:

advantage of knowing what they are trying to even

-<*

CM.MA

MMlAl.rMdAnA

ass s pSS"

Tk.nwAAXjU"*

SPREAD FROM KAZIMIR MALEVICH. ON

Gilson's

•*

ooctfcre^r* #ci*a*ta ^aiaa - kat^»

«-

aware that they must choose between painting,

Given that Malevich stopped painting almost entirely

When

if*^

i«i»mi«

.

writing, or speaking. 5

claimed

wc-fv -40av .

writes: r»0

we

rcTA«0»**n»

>tf

rwnnMA mwoMer

and 1924,

Ta* i««

-

— Constable,

who

those

writes

in

is

which,

talk about, but

Delacroix, or Fromentin, for a writer,

instead

not a painter The of

speaking

about

35

NtW SrSffMS

IN

ART


experience, the painter begins to philosophize. Most often, he

futuristicheskaia vystavka kartin, "0. 10" (nul-desat) (The

then only echoes philosophical notions that have become banal,

Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings, "0. 10" [Zero-Ten])

and

in this

framework, he endeavors to uphold

rather than

rience

his

personal expe-

in

Petrograd at the end of 1915 (along with pamphlets by

them to

redefine these notions to adapt

Ivan Puni, Ksenia Boguslavskaia, Mikhail

Menkov, and

Ivan

himself. 10

worth the paper

Kliun) as "not

Yet Malevich proves Gilson's statement wrong. Martineau, a Gilson student

and

art"

in spirit,

where Gilson

relationship

takes up the question of "writing

left off.

He

raises the

problem of the

between Malevich's ontology and phenome-

it's

[bumazhonka]." He likened these

the devils of Gergesenes from the Gospel

Matthew (Matthew 8:28-34), and suggested

that, like

them, they "go away into a herd of swine and

"Malevich's philosophy"; he says, "Malevich and philoso-

were voiced

in

phy," denoting the dialogue that the writing painter has

uted

with an entire tradition of philosophy from

champion of

which he found

the "twists and turns of the mind,"

in

in

in

Vitebsk. Boris Arvatov, a

Malevich's treatise, calling

Martineau, who,

someone who imagines

Malevich's writings (since only a portion of

them had been

unique property

borne

in

first

equal to painting

of the

latter,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; even

and painting

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; has the

time since painters have

a relationship to literature, writing

strictly

is

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; writing

which, for the

is

of equal importance,

to the extent that the

autonomy

denounced the

Down,

distrib-

critic

it

"some

and language

kind of pathological

madness [vyrozhdentsa], by

himself a prophet." 13 The Marxist

who had

those

Tatlin's counter-reliefs in

1915,

filosofiia

Absoliuta}" that had

come

from the "grossly muddled pamphlet [vesma sumbur-

naia knizhechka]

We

without having to be naturally called into question,

essentially questionable."

attacks

"fruitionless philosophy of the Absolute

[nedogovorennaia forth

Cast

same

Communist

who was among

Sergei Isakov,

defended Vladimir

translated from Russian by this time), asserts:

The complete work of Malevich

critic

n The

Productivist Art, reviled the abstruse

ventriloquy and degenerate

1977, only had access to a part of the

"

God Is Not

response to

without any philosophy training to prepare him. in

in

particular, to

disappear into the depths of the sea!

origins,

Malevich

according to

nology. Martineau does not say "Malevich-philosopher" or

its

on

written artists,

could

list

God Is Not

Cast

Down.

" ,4

further examples that simply note the

nonnormative character of Malevich's language. Some are indignant about his texts and reject them as nothing more

IS

than strings of meaningless sentences. Translations often

MALEVICH A BAD WRITER?

To most of Malevich's contemporaries, the language

Bog ne

Down:

skinut: Iskusstvo, Tserkov, Fabrika Art,

Church, Factory, 1922)

muddled, barely or end. Indeed,

leader of the

years

earlier,

Is

Not Cast

may have seemed

intelligible, incorrect,

some

(God

without beginning

Alexandre Benois, the

World of Art movement, had dismissed

the pamphlet distributed by Malevich at Posledniaia

JEAN-CLAUDE MARCADE

in

tone

down

his writing, "fix it," or "straighten

a result, Malevich

is

not particularly accessible.

up on close study of the

texts

and stop

at

out." 15 As

Many

give

an impression of

chaos and muddle; they refuse to admit value ical

it

in

philosoph-

Suprematism and focus only on Malevich's undeniable

genius as a painter. Others called astructural

make do with

revealing the so-

and contradictory character of the


author's thought

bespredmetnost

in,

Hi

Suprematizm: Mir kak

for example,

Holderlm to Heidegger

vechnyi pokoi {Suprematism: The World

of those

as the Objectless or Eternal Rest, early 1920s).

"What

a

shame

it

is

that

wrote to the wife of the Gershenzon. 16 is

the

man

In fact,

of letters

I

am

not a writer," Malevich

and thinker Mikhail

literary critic

was

the kind of writer he

whose

profession

it

is

referring to

to write.

and

yet,

when we

and that

read this very

his

syntax

we

letter,

is

makes us

21

afire,

are impas-

set themselves

stands Malevich:

"Excitement

objectless]

[i.e.,

the

spirit

is

a cosmic flame

on that which

that lives

difficult;

is

objectless." 22 Elsewhere

discover the

author's narrative talent, his powerful images This

who

sioned,

on the path

Trakl),

who

of the sensation of being

is

It

true that Malevich's style often includes anacoluthon (syntactical inconsistency)

(through

and humor.

Malevich writes:

think that his confession of not being a Excitement, like molten copper

writer

is

The

a case of paralepsis.

Khardzhiev reports that

literary critic Nikolai

in

a blast furnace, seethes in a state

that

SUPREMATIST GROUP WHITE) SENSATION OF

purely objectless. Excite-

is

DISSOLUTION (NONEXISTENCE!. PAGE DESIGN FOR

Malevich told him:

don't

"I

what has already been

like

written.

write something else. But

redoing and repeating It

me

bores

write poorly.

I

to death!

ment-combustion

the supreme

into motion. Excite-ment

of Malevich's closest students,

German, thought that

into

wrong way round." And

was appreciated by few. Even one

style"

El Lissitzky,

who

"grammar

his

translated his articles

being

living

thought. He wrote

a very Nietzschean

In

This "remarkable quality of being able to capture the

thought"

is

A human

whereas thought

1923

passage from an unpublished

essay, Malevich writes:

Etna;

I

spent our childhood and youth at the summit of

smoke.

We

we

Mount

were

only spoke to the devils that appeared mystics then, but the devils always

in Etna's

tempted

Malevich's writing. Like a poet's writing, stirred

enlivened by the painter,

that

it

is

both "pure"

by the "tempest of rhythm." 19

same impetuous movements

whose "mind burns" and

come from

in

whom

It

is

of the

materialist.

that

blaze "rays

is

is

true that

I

was

a bit

praised factory chimneys

image

in

Malevich's thought.

On

the

just as

slow to understand, but

and wrote

a manifesto

and everything produced

inside

factories.''1

the colors of nature." 20

a frequent

"historial"

It

Marinetti, well, he took this idea to heart

It is

Fire

us

the fundamental quality of with materialist science and proved that art had to be

and "naked,"

is

8

Marinetti and

living

the goal of meaning.

excitements

of

[was] completely the

with extraordinary speed and practically without making changes.

process of

volcano

concerned with perfections. 23

yet Malevich had the remarkable quality

of being able to capture the process of

a

like

is

Sasel

flick-

human being without

ers within a

"heavy

1927, pencil on paper. 8

like

is

the flame of a volcano that

his

WORLD (MUNICH ALBERT LANGEN

VERLAG. 1927)

Kupferstichkabineu, Offe

Khardzhiev comments: The energy of

THE NONOBJECTIVE

white force that sets thought I

never learn." 17

I'll

is

interesting to note that the

named

founder of Suprematism

Pablo Picasso and Filippo

Tommaso

path beautifully traced by Jacques Derrida from

37

Marinetti as


two

the

pillars,

the

twentieth century. Malevich's style

two

25

"prisms," of the

art of the

(1

The influence of Marinetti on

and expression

of both have the

new

same

is

tone, turns of phrase, and lexicon.

sometimes lampoonish habits,

ristic

command, In

satirical

manner, and

a slogan.

apho-

his

each clause rapping out the discourse

like a

26

Malevich's work, Marinetti's influence

was combined

with the influence of Russian "beyondsense" (zaum) poetthat of Velimir Khlebnikov

ics,

particular,

There

is

with both of

Malevich was very close.

also a specific linguistic substratum

con, even similar thought,

was

in

seem

end with

to

good cleansing

a

Tertium

Organum, which contains

extracts

from philosophical

gave Malevich access to

texts

extended beyond the fills

ideas: antiacademicism;

level

of style

and form, to the

common

in

the

of which

with Suprematist thought.

I

have

also discussed elsewhere the importance of Malevich's

who

encouraged him to

and the impact that Gershenzon's book Troistvennyi

obraz sovershenstva {The

had on

his thinking.

to reveal

intuition that

28

But

it is

integrated into an entirely

new

We

clear that

philosophy,

is

one informed

in

all

33

Triple

Image of Perfection 1918) ,

Nevertheless, as Martineau has justly

these various influences, whether

Malevich, by contrast, the secret

question of being."

goes against reason;

by an ontological perspective. 29

in

work

reli-

of the

34

could discuss the Nietzschean thought and rhetoric

Suprematism: The World as the Objectless or Eternal

Rest.

The word "Suprematism"

itself

is

we

also find shades of Zarathustra

for

example:

Nietzschean, and

when

Malevich writes,

have discussed the importance for The ascent to the peaks of objectless

Malevich's intellectual development of the various vague

and

all

gious, political, cosmogonal, or other, only allow us "better

partially;

that Malevich borrows, consciously or unconsciously,

I

texts,

antihedonism; antihumanism; the

"geometric and mechanical splendor."

Elsewhere

Clement

underscored,

importance of white (which Marinetti had inherited from

all

of

the painter's prose, to the realm of

study of war; the question of economy,

Stephane Mallarme);

number

from around the world,

have points

write,

very inspiration that

a great

stomach" 3 ').

of Alexandria, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, Jacob

used to embellish a hyperbolic and baroque aesthetic.

Down

of the

Boehme, Kant, and Hindu and Chinese

Not Cast

particular

in

Eleatics, Plato, Plotinus,

dialogue with Gershenzon, 32

Is

lexi-

which, he wrote, "always

India,

27

in his literary

on the author of God

find a similar

about studies of the "new man,"

ironical

those that revolved around

work: Polish and especially Ukrainian expressions are often

Marinetti's influence

We

Malevich's texts (though he

in

and Aleksei Kruchenykh

whom

by the theosophist Petr Ouspensky, which was read

1)

by the entire Russian avant-garde.

undeniable. The writings

Malevich adopted Marinetti's Futurist exclamatory rhetoric, his

91

diffuse ideas that

formed the

twentieth century before World

Zeitgeist of the early

War

I:

religious socialism,

the God-seekers and the God-builders, the empirical

criti-

And

yet

art

is

arduous, painful.

brings happiness. The familiar retreats

little

by

little.

.

.

.

.

.

.

The contours of the world of objects fade more with every

moment; and the same thing continues notions

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; everything

cism of Richard Avenarius and Ernst Mach. 30 Special

becomes

mention must, however, be made of Tertium Organum

We

JEAN-CLAUDE MARCADE

it

that

we

loved and

in

the world of figurative

all

from which

we

lived,

invisible. 35

could

cite

many

other references, too, but, as the late


Czech

art historian Jin Padrta

emphasized, Malevich was

able to transform

all

knowledge

this

less

world, which

One

thing

is

into the wild flame of his vision of the object-

expressed

is

for certain: in

in

the glow of

no way does

original compilation of several

his

nonf igurative

simply involve a

it

borrowed systems, nor

is

art.

fairly

an

it

impressive account of a body of knowledge, of the kind that occa-

emerged between Antiquity and the Enlightenment, and

sionally

certainly

it

not a simple replication of something, whether

is

want to consider

faithful or

it

whether we allow

untamed thought!)

a meticulously thought-out construct that

is

distortion of genius (anything goes with

there

is,

after

all,

we

for so-called

simultaneously being constantly shaken, a "Tower of Babel" rising to the objectless,

THE RECEPTION

and the author himself

followed

lifetime,

some

texts published in Russian during his

1927 and 1962 by German translations

in

of the previously unpublished manuscripts,

presented Western readers ciently

in

fragments, but

a philosophy of the objectless. 37 Even

philosophy

partially

movements "Nothing"), First

at stake. 36

AND CHALLENGE OF SUPREMATIST THOUGHT

Those of Malevich's

of

is

(let it

us

still

suffi-

this

if

converged with existing philosophical

call

them negative philosophies

formed

a very personal

body

and foremost, Malevich was unique

of the

of thought.

that he

in

gave philosophical significance to the pairing of figuration

SUPREMATIST GROUP. DERIVED FROM THE SQUARE. PAGE DESIGN FOR THE NONOBIECTIVE WORLD

(MUNICH AlBERT IANGEN VERLAG. 1927)

(predmetnost) and the objectless (bespredmetnost), which

emerged

in

the theory and criticism of art of the 1910s as a

— the

to designate a

new

and

abstraction.

1919, the Polish-Ukrainian-Russian

In

rise of

nonfiguration

painter stated: "In mentioning the objectless I

only

wanted

to point out clearly that

not treat of things, objects, less,

generally speaking,

etc.,

and

x

26

7

x

tOtt inches

cm)

Kupferslichkabineu. Oftentliche Kunstsammlung Basel

way

reality

1927. pencil on paper. 8rt (20 6

[in

1913-16],

Suprematism does

that's

was beside the

all;

the object-

point."

38

Thus, the

39


A painter clearly distinguished

between the

objectless as

ity

an operative

mode

to represent oneself.

plastic arts

W>^.

*tU—*

-^, '~*J.~yt*^

and "the object-

generally speaking"

that

is,

ring of transfiguration of

all

is

the zero, "the zero as the

that

is

with-object

[predmetnoe] into the objectless [bespredmetnoe}." 4]

deliberately did not seek a

begins.

zero, that the true

in

None

in this

philosophical objectless.

vocabulary from the

Malevich could have used

Suprematism

objectivity (obektivnost)

process;

and nonobjectivity {neobek-

it

is

of being

of the traditional philosophical oppositions

are appropriate

for the

movement

is

It

is

which

case,

is

why

Malevich used

on being.

plastic arts in his reflections

not a philosophy of negation

in

a dialectical

a philosophy of "without," of absence.

many

Even before

of Malevich's little-known texts had

.

(NONOBJECTIVITY). PAGE DESIGN FOR

THE NONOBJECTIVE

1927, pencil on paper, 8'A

the philosophical objectless

published

and nonfigurative

in

x

6Vi

art,

which he does elsewhere, inches

but according to

Kunstsammlung

39

my

Basel

(in particular,

those originally

1918), 42

in

the

Moscow newspaper

Anarkhiia (Anarchy)

and even before the publication of some of

texts,

43

important writings by Malevich existed

English,

and French

translation. 44

his

in

German,

The philosophical import

hypothesis, he did not

of his writings continued to be confirmed as previously

choose to do so because

unpublished texts came out. Martineau, as mentioned

acknowledge

"objectivity/nonobjectivity"

earlier,

his project, instead associating his

thought with that of various other doctrines. There almost a certain "objectivity"

in

is

Suprematism, the objectiv-

of the objectless, of the total absence of the object.

Although the painter denies an object since "the

objectivity in

human

terms of pictur-

being cannot picture

anything," 40 and although the traditional conflict

in

ophy between subject and object means nothing

to him,

it is still

Russian

cm)

Kupferstichkabmett, Offenthche

did not

in

WORLD (MUNICH

ALBERT LANGEN VERLAG, 1927)

5

been reprinted

both

MOMENT

OF DISSOLUTION OE SENSATION

ing

(Suprematicheskoe zerkalo)

from zero,

word

The "Suprematist mirror"

/f»7.

SUPREMATIST ELEMENT AT THE

ity

of being able to picture, to picture oneself, to represent,

Suprematist sense. He

tivnost) to describe

(21x16

a philosophical,

in

different

*i£Zz:v£pn

the

in

less,

13

v

crux of the painter's philosophical thought: the impossibil-

the case that

all is

outside, then nothing

is

one, that

what

is.

It

is

if

there

this

is

philos-

nothing

nothing that

Suprematism wants to release from the weight of the figurative

(i.e.,

of objects [predmetnyi]). This

JEAN-CLAUDE MARCADE

is

precisely the

was the

first

to include Malevich's writings

historicity (Geschichtlichkeit)

ments

of thought since the

— that

dawn

is,

among

a

in

the move-

of philosophy 45

—so

let

us summarize, very generally, his interpretation of

Suprematist writings.

First

and foremost, Martineau

asserts that the statements

firmly

and affirmations made by the

founder of Suprematism "are philosophical and are such rigorous

and eminent fashion." 46 There

is

a "silent

in

and

unconscious dialogue between phenomenology and

Suprematism." 47 Malevich to a

It

is

the experience of art that led

new abstraction,

that of the retreat (Entzug)

of things toward the invisible zone of their provenance,

from which

is

revealed "the essence of unchanging nature


in all

of

changing phenomena." 48 The

its

mission" of Suprematism

is

to "allow 'nature' to 'proceed'

rhythmically to the diversity of

these

'states,'

new

restful in their 'spirit,'

For Martineau, Suprematism

"Where Nietzsche

new

his

is

and allow each

new

leaves the

dynamically" 49

statically or

is

overman without

God:

sense, but rather

only

a world,

At

1920

succeed

new

leaves intact is

.

iconoclastic or

nihilist.

only brought to bear on the .

.

Malevich's

imago and

rigorously nonimitative";

attempt to restore

"pictorial

Suprematism

(if

that

letter,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a new

is

the

a dark skull.

Martineau

being a lesson

insists in

freedom,

was, that

is,

in

pictorial

3

phenomenon.

a

what

it

always

the sole instrument of liberation that exists on

and

political

one

of the great-

teachers of the century." 54

my movement

with aside,

that of

about the

all

who

like

my own and

colors,

in

I

it

happened

so

visit

I

perhaps

was concerned

I

leaving the religion of the spirit

have returned

I

do not know

I

churches, look at the saints and the

have seen that

change of

religions.

toward

pure form of the

its

moving toward the

I

it,

see

I

act,

myself,

in is

coming

painting has

just as

so too the

World of

religion of the Pure act;

prophets were impelled by ize

and now

the world as a whole, that the time

in

an outsider

like

it

years

have entered into the religious World;

all

moved

religions

is

the saints and

but were not able to

this very act,

and for a

real-

blocked as they were by reason, which sees goal and

and every

everything,

in

act

smashed against these two walls of the

work,

of the

religious

World

rational fence.

Malevich's texts allow us to apprehend the significance

countered dominant thought of the 1970s and 1980s,

of his pictorial act.

which adopted the "zero of forms" that Suprematism

rage to write,

in

many

have discerned ontological thought

spiritual (not spiritualism!) in Malevich's

proclaimed

and

painter or like a form that

like a

and twenty-five years have passed, and now

meaning Martineau's appraisal of Malevich, like

2000,

religion of the spirit, a

For

Above

thought as

"the liberation of liberty":

that thought be

earth and above, must read Malevich as est spiritual

his great

fundamental

in

rights to 'being.'"'

on Malevich's

"Anyone who today asks

until

painter's

stand before

I

entire spiritual world in action, all,

he began

unpublished

were necessary) the

religions

all

took out from

why its

precisely at the time that

no longer consider Suprematism

or rather

and the attempt

iconicity in art,

philosophy ... to reestablish

is,

contemplating

the domain of the icon as 'similitude' that 52

necessary to cite a long extract from a

"religion of the pure act":

I

"is

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that

it is

by Malevich to Gershenzon on April 11,

antimaterialism and his ambition to turn pictorial

l

iconoclasm

this point,

letter written

Suprematism nor

pictorial

is

the objectless world, the

in

philosophical Suprematism into a religion intended to

able to develop thought about the things of

Suprematist philosophy

immersed

is

the traditional

in

reality.

confirms

relationship to the divine vague,

God." 51 Neither

not transcendental

is

philosophical work. This

"transmetaphysical

relationship with

the world [mondaneite] of the overman, including a figure of

of

and

things that are nonobjective

whether

thought" 50 that seeks a

Malevich

'states'

through the miracle of color and technique,

to reincarnate into

and leaves

its

"beyond"

This

"pictorial

1915, but only

saw

a "zero stage." For

Malevich, rendering forms as zero

is

but a springboard for

going beyond zero, into the regions of a liberated Nothing.

defending

it

When

was

filled

with a

real

was because he was simultaneously

his pictorial

need to formulate ing, silently,

Malevich

in

system and had the ontological

words that which he was formulat-

through the

pictorial.

41

Malevich's writing brings


.

us into the very twists

and turns of creation

in

which

"painting-writing-thinking-being" are identical,

if

Notes

not simi-

12.

Alexandre Benois, "Poslednaia futur-

isticheskaia vystavka," speech, January

wish to thank John Malmstad for

I

9

his

[211, 1916, p. 3

assistance, in particular for reviewing the lar,

positions. His writing

from a work that

is

the

is

fruit of reflection

that stems

already done. Both defense and

13

no 7(1922), pp 343-44

it

gives us the philosophical version

Malevich, Suprematizm:

therefore not

know

the

enough

movement

1699:

in

"It is

to learn the Author of a Picture, to of the Brush,

into that of the Spirit." Malevich

philosopher-theologian.

He

is

if

is

we do

not penetrate

a painter

who

expressed

tomakh,

all

the texts

is

extraordinary,

in

arts,

a painter-philosopher, but a great painter

philosopher

who was

idiolectical terms,

able to raise

on par with the

in

is

this article in

Malevich's

a

unique

"Vanka-vstanka," Zhizn

(May 29, 1923),

iskusstva, no. 21 this title,

magnum

pp 15-16

The most

15

gegenstandslose Welt (Munich: Albert

ill

vechnyi pokoi, including the

pamphlet Bog ne

"

Langen, 1927) and Suprematismus: Die

skinut: Iskusstvo,

on the "act of

Tserkov, Fabnka, reflect

Schauberg, 1962) While respecting the

piati

tomakh,

vol

3

the

(as in

title

Suprematizm: Mir kak bespredmetnost

spirit

of Malevich's thought overall, these

German translations of his manuscripts give them a tone that resembles more German Naturphilosophie than Futurist

2000)

Gileia,

was not

a great

philosophical, often

greats, the question of

is

ill

usually rendered as

Malevich, letter to Mania

"nonobjectivity" or "nonobjectivism,"

16.

but, for reasons that

Gershenzon, December 28, 1919,

will explain,

I

I

."

prefer "the objectless

piati

3

Malevich, Suprematizm:

p.

189.

34

tomakh,

vol

3, p.

375

risunka, 17. Nikolai

Khardzhiev,

K

predisloviia," in

"Vmesto

istoni

russkogo avan-

in

garda (Stockholm:

Gileia, 1976), p. 101.

Kazimir Malevich: Sobranie sochinenii v piati

Translated from the French

in

Kazimir Malevich: Sobranie sochinenii v

4 Malevich, "Suprematizm" (1919),

the truth of being.

DuMont

gegenstandslose Welt (Cologne:

See Kazimir Malevich;

Sobranie sochinenii v

flagrant examples are Die

exclamatory rhetoric.

that he

and

khudozh-

i

1923), p. 20. Malevich responded to

Gileia,

pictorial art.

what makes Malevich

the universal history of the

(Moscow:

14 Sergei Isakov, "Tserkov

nik," Zhizn iskusstva, no. 14 (April 10,

nost

vechnyi pokoi)

figure

1

in

Bespredmetnost

What

revoliutsiia,

i

opus, Suprematizm Mir kak bespredmet-

(Moscow;

environment) the philosophical necessity of

vol

There are no pamphlets with

2.

pure white.

discursively (using the verbal tools provided by his cultural

risunka, in

185-207

1995), pp.

but

not a professional

34

Kazimir Malevich: Sobranie sochinenii v piati

of a pictorial practice. Roger de Piles said

original Russian

illus1

tration of objectless art,

Boris Arvatov, in Pechat

English translations of Malevich's writings

from the

by Molly Stevens.

5

tomakh,

vol.

151.

1, p.

18. Ibid. Italics

Ibid

19.

Malevich,

added

"Opoezna,"

in

Kazimir

Malevich Sobranie sochinenii v piati 6 Malevich, "K

II

chasti

Suprematizm tomakh,

kak bespredmetnost,

°°,

St.

Petersburg,

Anna

7.

p.

vol

und Ende

Ibid,

21.

See Jacques Derrida, Of

University of

Suprematismus/The Beginning and the

pp. 83-98.

End of Figurative Painting and 22. Malevich, in

Chicago

Bog ne

Kasimir Malewitsch

100. Geburtstag,

exh cat (Cologne

Galene Gmurzynska, 1978),

p.

65.

8.

See Emmanuel Martineau, Malevitch

et

la

Press, 1989),

skinut, p. 238.

23 Malevich, Suprematizm: Mir kak bespredmetnost pp.

vechnyi pokoi,

ili

219-20. On excitement

movens and on

as

primum

Mikhail Gershenzon's

philosophie (Lausanne: L'Age influence with regard to the question

d'Homme, 1977)

of "perfections," see 9.

Spirit:

Heidegger and the Question (Chicago:

der figurativen Malerei und der

Zum

p 142

pp 142-43

20

43

Leporskaia, "Anfang

Suprematism,"

1,

otdyx" (1920),

handwritten notebook, private archive,

Etienne Gilson, Peinture et Realite

(Pans: Vnn, 1972), p. 290.

my

foreword and

"Une esthetique de I'abime," Malevich, fcms De Cezanne au

preface, in

/

Suprematisme (Lausanne: L'Age 10 Ibid I

I

,

p.

298.

Martineau, Malevitch et

phie, p. 78.

la

philoso-

d'Homme, 1974, 1993), p. 7; translated into English as "An Approach to the Writings of Malevich," Soviet Union/

Union Sovietique pp.

JEAN-CLAUDE MARCADE

225-40

5.

no 2 (1978),


1

24 Cited by Evgenn Kovtun as an epigraph to

de Marmetti

hberte'

mots en

his article "'Les

transmenlalite'

et la

(zaum) des futuristes russes,"

Presence de Marmetti (Lausanne: L'Age

d'Homme,

Russian

the 1910s and revolu-

tionary 1920s See Jean-Claude Marcade,

"Marmetti

Presence de

et Maievitch," in

Marmetti. pp. 256-57. 26.

The

published

Kazimir Malevich:

in

philoso-

la

in

Michelis,

//

(Paris:

269

phie

que

tant

repos eternel Essai sur

le

futurismo

Donate

la

March

Critique,

and

und

Velimir Chlebnikov

Lobacevskij, vol

de

"

la

Welt (see n

15)

remained the only trans-

when

the

first

English translation

appeared (Malevich, fssays on

de

signification

la in

theone poetique de Maievitch: Cahier

d'Homme,

(Lausanne: L'Age pp.

Climax of Disclosure (Munich 1991),

28

Prestel,

is

from Marmetti's

et la sensibilite

(1914), in Giovanni Lista,

numenque"

Futunsme.

Documents Proclamations

(Lausanne: L'Age

d'Homme,

1973),

pp 147-52 of the similarities

and differences between Marmetti and

my

Iskusstvo, 1993), pp.

bespredmetnost

my "Une

in

vechnyi pokoi,

Hi

is

p.

the

84.

title

in

Kazimir Malevich: Sobranie sochinenii v piati

and

Malevich, forts

II:

d'Homme,

1977, 1993); and "Maievitch

36 propositions en

1979), pp.

59-77 la

philoso-

tomakh,

vol. 1, p.

48. Malevich, "Suprematicheskoe zerkalo," p. 273.

49. Martineau,

"Une philosophie des

'Suprema,'" p

130

273 50. Martineau, "Preface," p. 27.

42. Eleven articles from Anarkhiia, edited 51

in

Kazimir Malevich: Sobranie sochinenii v piati

tomakh,

vol

3,

pp.

Ibid, p

26

52. Ibid., p 33.

75-125. 53. Martineau, "Maievitch et I'enigme

Among

esthetique de

the most important of these

ochnogo elementa v zhivopisi, Stephan Von Wiese (Mayence: Kupferberg, 1980):

'cubiste,'" p

63

A

ed.

54. Martineau, Maievitch et

Florian

phie, p

Targynelkuli vilag

Hungarian), trans. Eva Forgacs

(Budapest:

Corvma Kiado.

1986),

la

philoso-

224

55 See Kazimir Malevich: Sobranie sochinenii v piati tomakh, vol

3, p.

341

and

Kazimir Malevich v texts

russkom muzee

(St

Editions, 2000), p

32 See

in

are 1/45: Vvedenie v teoriiu pribav-

"

in

skinut

"Vanka-vstanka,"

French and

46. Martineau, Maievitch et

of a 1923 manifesto by Malevich,

(in

1916,

Bog ne

in

to the French trans-

skinut, p. 241.

"Suprematicheskoe zerkalo"

Malevich, letter to Alexandre Benois,

May

o

237-50.

40 Malevich, Bog ne

43

I'abime'VAn Approach to the Writings

3

lations of

in

cat. (Paris: Galerie

phie, p. 121.

"Marmetti et

Maievitch," pp. 250-65.

of Malevich

i

voobshche,"

by Andrei D. Sarabianov, appear

29 On the subject

30. See

vari-

47 Martineau, "Preface," p .27

This last phrase

Malevich, see

thoughtful articles that delve into

41 Malevich, Suprematizm: Mir kak

manifesto "La Splendeur geometrique et

Manifestes.

i

philoso-

Malevich, Zhivopis. Teoriia (Moscow:

1983),

pp 89ff

mecanique

obektivnom v iskusstve

la

his highly

marge Des nouveaux systemes en art," in Maievitch. Actes du Colloque international tenu au Centre Georges Pompidou (Lausanne L'Age d'Homme,

(1919),

I

45-75, and Kazimir Malevich: The

complemented by

et I'enigme cubiste.'

"O subektivnom

39. See Malevich,

Khlebnikov,"

1

p. 150.

la

Gegenstandslosigkeit chez Maievitch et

son rapport a

Art, vol

(Copenhagen: Borgen, 1968])

38 Malevich, "Suprematizm"

Nakov

1975)

Le miroir suprematiste (Lausanne: L'Age

Nikolai

"A Propos

is

English, "Preface"

Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch,

40(1978), pp 129-62,

Libre,

Jean Chauvelin, 1977),

lations of Malevich's writings until 1968,

Kazimir Malevich,

ferns, ed. Andrei

Champ

Suprematisme, exh.

le

1975, pp 284-96, and Rainer Crone,

Le

Marcade

d'Homme. 1974-94),

"Une philosophie des 'Suprema,'"

176-77.

pp.

I,

De

37. Die gegenstandslose Welt

"Zum Suprematismus

Troels

ous aspects of Suprematist philosophy:

in

Suprematismus: Die gegenstandslose "Maievitch et

modele Imguistique,"

the four

ed

45. Martineau's Maievitch et

monde en

Padrta. "Le

Jin

Maievitch: Cahier

Vallier,

Art,

in

French, the four volumes of

and Maievitch

Jean-Claude Marcade,

sans-objet ou

(Ban:

in

(Lausanne: L'Age

Maievitch (Pans Casterman, 1990),

precarite d'un projet humaniste,"

1909- 1929

27 See Dora

15); in English,

foils, ed. Jean-Claude

35. Malevich, "Suprematizm" (1922),

quoted

and

78);

102.

phie, p

1913-14.

in

italiano in Russia,

1973), p.

Welt (see n

volumes of Essays on

pp 327-53

vol. 3,

36

were

Russian mainly

G De

See Cesare

found

p 161

Italian Futurists in

Suprematismus: Die gegenstandslose

is

Marmetti

principle writings of

and of the

1924

34 Martineau, Maievitch et

defended Marmetti against

critics in

German, Die gegenstandslose Welt and

Andersen (Copenhagen: Borgen, 1968-

1982), p. 234.

25. Malevich

the most important are

44.

Malevich and Gershenzon from 1918 to

Sobranie sochinenii v piati tomakh,

in

Among

33 The correspondence between

my "Une

Petersburg Palace

393

from the Malevich Archive,

Museum, Amsterdam, in Malevich, Teoriia, pp. 237-380, and

Zhivopis

esthetique de I'abime,"

pp 22-23, "An Approach

to the

Writings of Malevich," pp

236-37

Stedelijk

in

Kazimir Malevich: Sobranie sochinenii v piati

tomakh,

vol

3

43


MIKHAIL MATIUSHIN, KAZIMIR MALEVICH, AND ALEKSEI

KRUCHENYKH

Slate Russian

Museum,

IN St.

UUSIKIRKKO. JULY 1913 Petersburg


c >

o < >

THE SUPREMUS "LABORATORY-HOUSE": RECONSTRUCTING THE JOURNAL Malevich

mentioned the idea of

first

a

new

journal

in

May

1915,

long before he had invented the term "Suprematism"; at this time, the tion

title

of the journal

was

to be Nul [Zero]. This

coincided chronologically with Malevich's

develop a zero."

1

new

first

men-

quest to

initial

theory of nonobjective art that would "go beyond

"That which was done unconsciously

is

now

bearing extra-

ordinary fruit," Malevich wrote to Mikhail Matiushin on

1915, referring back to the opera Pobeda

his

it

27,

notorious drawing for the curtain of

nad solntsem

rospectively rationalizing

May

{Victory over the Sun, 1913), ret-

as a prototype of Suprematism, an

anticipation of his Black Square (1915). 2 Malevich carefully con-

cealed his

new

ideas from his

rivals,

especially Ivan Puni (Jean

Pougny), but he shared them with old friends

and tested of in

in

collaboration: Aleksei

who had been

tried

Kruchenykh spent the summer

room he rented from Malevich at his dacha Kuntsevo, and both were occasionally visited there by Ivan

1915 working

Kliun.

On May

in

a

29, Malevich shared with Matiushin his idea for a

new journal and asked

for his support

"trio" of Malevich, Matiushin,

in

reuniting the old Futurist

and Kruchenykh:

45


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

the most appropriate name, for

it

supremacy," he

signifies

wrote to Matiushin. Thus was determined the name of 4

new group

the

and, with

planning, Supremus.

emphasized the manuscripts, part

is

it

written

it,

(It is

Latin

that of the journal they

were

interesting to note that Malevich

etymology of

this

word:

in his

most

rarely occurs in Cyrillic, but for the in Latin letters.)

Suprematism was introduced to the public

December

in

1915, at Posledniaia futuristicheskaia vystavka kartin, "0.

OLGA ROZANOVA. KSENIA BOGUSLAVSKAIA. AND KAZIMIR MALEVICH AT THE

10 EXHIBITION, GALERIE

Paintings, "0. 10" [Zero-Ten]) in Petrograd.

DOBYCHINA.

PETROGRAD, 1915-16

leadership struggle that

Museum,

State Russian

10" (nul-desat) (The Last Futurist Exhibition of

accompanied the

The

internal

exhibition

was

Petersburg

St-

among

not a simple one, and relationships

the members,

complicated by personal ambitions, were evidently

We the

are planning to put out a journal and have begun to discuss

how and what

we

to zero, will

it.

Since

have decided to

go beyond

some

of

zero.

useful advice.

there's a

room

It

for

it

call

we

intend to reduce everything

Afterward

Nul.

it

would be good

It

if

we

ourselves

first

would

it

will

also be

you and

it's

be two

good

quiet.

printer's sheets

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not

in

artists

is

that everything

beyond zero" was

Malevich, Khun, and Kruchenykh's collection

came out

that

do

even

who it

so that

Malevich

Malevich

Vices of the

summer

in

if

now everyone

promised to order frames for me,

my

is

pictures

is

before mostly else.

purposely

would look ragged. They

was forced to admit that

something of their

organization depends on

Academicians), which

and the

this entire exhibition

done underhandedly, and

butchered the catalogue and did so many other petty things that

partially

akademikov (Secret

is

concerned with doing whatever possible to hurt someone

Thus Puni,

of essays Tainye poroki

this exhibition

was prepared:

didn't

reflected

which

everyone only worried about themselves,

going even better. 1

This idea of "going

in

i.e.,

Then things would get

...

to Kruchenykh, Olga Rozanova

The most disagreeable thing about it,

you could come here

if

In letters

conveyed the tense atmosphere

you could also offer

We're pooling our resources to publish

ten rubles apiece, and at

much, but good.

in

strained.

how

lackey,

disgusting.

it's

and the

stability of

...

the

long he remains satisfied with

his

Moscow. "position." 5

(To symbolize their orientation

toward the

authors decided to date the work early

the

fall,

which the

Malevich had

new movement, in his

new

1

future, the

91 6 on the cover.) By

come up with

the

final

name

interpretation symbolized the

NINAGURIANOVA

art:

of

"supremacy" of

"Suprematism

conflict

when

inventing the term "Suprematism,"

philosophy of nonobjective

The

is

began even before the exhibition opened,

the other participants, led by the organizers of the

show, Puni and Ksenia Boguslavskaia, use the term "Suprematism"

made

a clever tactical

in

move by

flatly

refused to

the catalogue. Malevich preparing a brochure,


Of kubizma k suprematizmu. Novyi zhivopisnyi realizm

Kruchenykh,

New Painterly

(From Cubism to Suprematism: The

Realism), printed by Matiushin for the

[Vera)

...

Pestel,

opening as

a

coun-

Owing to

Puni.

It

was the

manifesto

become about

first

advance

printed publication

any price to issue

my work and my

in

christen

it

the form of a

has

"It

participants

2.

It

will

appear on January

1.

and thereby announce

the press, and at that time the

was the same

0.

and

after a

row of

dots: "No. 2 will include K.

in

Fool's

Cap

of Philistine Logic.'" 8 Malevich's inclusion of

Puni and Boguslavskaia

of

list

and ask

several editions of his music should be put in the

6

in this list

was motivated by

purely

practical considerations related to the financing of the

journal,

as that of the

a note in the margin, "write Roslavets

Malevich's articles 'A Response to the Old Day' and 'The

The following September, the Suprematists' journal in

is

chronicle,"

brochure

this little

There

which of

copyright," Malevich wrote to Matiushin.

was announced

Roslavets,

which had been "censored" by

— to declare the new movement.

crucial at

Nikolai

limited quantities of the issue, subscriptions are

being accepted for Supremus no.

terpart to the catalogue,

Yurkevich,

...

Mikhail Matiushin, Natalia Davydova.

10 exhibition

and when

Puni's pretensions

(which had only grown since

toward

0. 10) led

a leading role

to an unavoidable

Apollon (nos. 9-10) ran an advertisement declaring the break with Malevich, publication of the journal was launch of "the monthly journal Supremus, which

will

delayed due to a lack of sponsorship.

come out

in

Moscow

December

in

or January

and

will

be Conditions within the Russian art world of 1915-16

devoted to painting, decorative

music, and literature.

art,

were conducive Principal organizers

and contributors include Malevich, brief past

Rozanova, Puni, [Aleksandra]

and

in

"

Malevich wrote about the journal

a letter to Matiushin

in

more

dated October 27, 1916:

detail

In late

garde group

"I've exist,

and

it

in

summing up

of the avant-garde's

consequent struggle to establish

Exter, Kliun, [Mikhail]

leadership.

Menkov.

a

to a

a

new

1914, the most significant early avant-

Petrograd, Union of Youth, had ceased to

had soon become

clear

after Mikhail

already arranged everything. Materials are being collected,

we're

all

there.

I

Send

set with the typography.

directions.

The

first

issue

won't appear

is

on Cubism,

until issue three."

articles I'll

7

on new

go on from

However,

in

Malevich's handwritten draft of an advertisement for the journal, in

which states that the second issue would appear

January 1917, Malevich himself

is

listed

among

the

contributors:

Contributors to Supremus will be those

who

have turned aside

the rays of yesterday's sun from their faces. Kazimir Malevich,

Nadezhda Udaltsova, Olga Rozanova, Mikhail

Menkov,

Ivan

Puni,

Ivan Kliun, Liubov Popova,

Ksenia

Boguslavskaia,

Aleksei

WORKS BY KAZIMIR MAlANO VLADIMIR TATLIN IN fUTURIST TRAMWAY V. PF.TROGR" INSTALLATION OF

i

Court-

47


Larionov and Natalia Goncharova, the leading figures of

the

Moscow

art world, left Russia

—that

the history of the Russian avant-garde

a certain period

was

over.

in in

Supremus. Power

became

the

in

new

institutionalized art

a central issue:

These Mass meetings have been organized

events charged politics within the avant-garde and

which closure occurred simul-

in

new

taneously with the development of

Two dominant

aesthetic theories.

schools emerged, organized around the

opposing poles of nonobjective

two

Malevich and Vladimir

art,

Each school hoped to monopolize the avant-garde

Tatlin.

movement. For Malevich, then, the struggle nence was being waged not only within

his

autocrats of the Academies.

ungrateful

tor Tatlin's

it

pretty sight: these

a

to the

hangmen, now crowing over the corpse

Yesterday they tossed out rebellious young

bow down

they

to freedom and

new

wear red ribbons

in

today

truths,

their button-

group,

as well. By 1916, the nucleus of his competi-

group had taken definite shape and

was not

It

have fed themselves on crumbs from

monarch, painted millions of portraits of him,

monuments

holes. Interesting as well

but outside

everyday of

artistic

of the lord, singing out their baseness.

for preemi-

own

who

[artists]

their beloved raised

the

in

The leaders of the meeting are the same anointed

free Russia.

provoked an atmosphere

world

own

his

was the

liberated "youth" that elected

the "wretched" chairmen. The Suprematists were watching and marveling at the suppleness of the reincarnation. 10

group appeared vulnerable: few of the members were well

known,

his

own

outweighed the

activity significantly

realize that

bution of the other participants, and, moreover, the

ambivalence of some members,

more independent

who

artistic position,

tended toward a

was

alarming.

Under these circumstances, Malevich was the

contri-

1916,

In

controlled by

strategic necessity.

the recently got a verbose letter

from Kliunkov

and others

will

[Lev]

Bruni,

be significantly larger and have more

success with the public than the Suprematists. He's appealing to

me.

He

says

that the Suprematists should

harmoniously and so on,

calls

me

new movement

work

closely

and

own

when

social

the

after the

and

environment."

first

issue of

initial

logical strategy

in fact,

the spring of 1917,

Supremus was being put together

11

as he wrote, "to form

According to Malevich's

become an

his

original

leading role

forum

something between

by the October Revolution

later that year,

and paradoxical impact on the

had

a

complex

social, philosophical,

aesthetic ideas of the avant-garde,

NINA GURIANOVA

The events

and

this

was

and

reflected

and and

a

fortress (he referred to his journal as a laboratory-house

new

[dom-laboratoria]) for the

philosophy and theory of

The innovative form and

of this journal (which Rozanova,

his journal.

in

for experiment

artistic

a virtual laboratory

and the program of

February 1917, followed

vision,

own

the art world,

to

nonobjective

in

[his]

ambitions and assuring

was

delay, could not but affect Malevich's ideo-

of the First Russian Revolution

an attempt

to establish a basis for

his

a "rare" artist, etc. 9

political situation in

ideological but a

his journal as art,

to

Supremus, apart from being a vehicle for

discussion,

The

He conceived

first

strictly

[Kliun]. Flattering

and alarming. They are afraid that the group of Tatlin,

one group, was not only an

to create a social context for his

Rozanova wrote to Kruchenykh: I

the publication of an art journal,

art.

called "strictly partisan") 12

Suprematism group, and

its

of "collective

its

"in everything,"

emphasis

in

work" over

in

artistic

ideology

a letter to Matiushin,

proclamation of its

orientation toward the

numerous

articles

individual art

on the

priority

— served to enforce


Suprematist doctrine.

On

the draft of a

title

page

for the

adding

journal, Malevich could not resist the temptation of in pencil:

"A cockerel

and wide." 13

that will be heard far

The metamorphosis from Nul to Supremus

the

in

is

of Malevich's journal

title

symbolic. While both

titles

convey the anarchic idea of creating the world out of "nothing" and the equation of "nothing" with "everything," the shift

in

emphasis from the extreme

of "zero" to the Utopian

nihilism

supreme domination ("Suprem-

new

atism" meant "supremacy" to Malevich) marked a

stage

the evolution of the avant-garde. The anarchic

in

antiutopia of alogism yielded to a quest for an objective

"academic

universal law (Matiushin incisively noted

sions"

in

the term "Suprematism"

universal, and, consequently,

concept of

who

But attic

a

of

it

new

book. But

history of our art

thoughts within

an inescapably Utopian

down

our youthfulness from the

to our young offspring?

Who

will pass

on the

we do

not yet

laws from our tablets? You see, is

it

...

necessary, indispensable.

The book

is

a little

the sum of our days, the key locking our

and the attempt to

Suprematism seems very

far

maximalism of Malevich and is

the assertion of the

us.'

This histoncism

of

),

allu-

Strategy changed as well:

of us will remain to take

and show

new book have

art.

14

register the

from the

his

genealogy

earlier futuristic

comrades-in-arms, but

indeed the main leitmotif of the journal,

in

it

IIUBOV POP0VA. COVER DESIGN FOR THE

PROPOSED JOURNAL SUPREMUS. 1916-17

many

respects inspired by the desire to reflect or re-create the extratextual context of the

Supremus and

itself

artistic

has

movement. To some degree,

become

a

fragment of the

historical

context, without which the "aesthetic object"

of the cultural legacy can

no longer

Bakhtinian theory: "The work [of

exist,

art] also

according to includes

its

49


necessary extratextual context. The work, as

enveloped context

which

in

it

were,

is

the music of the intonational-evaluative

in

is

it

understood and evaluated."

16

Exter

were no longer members of the Suprematist

group, and Malevich, Rozanova, Udaltsova, Roslavets,

and Kruchenykh, among

Kliun, Yurkevich,

announced The

of

all,

until

had also changed:

Malevich had asserted himself as editor

chief. Radically

changing

in

the third issue, he wrote several articles for the

issue:

first

"Kubizm" ("Cubism"), "Futurizm" ("Futurism"),

in

the Face to Ferroconcrete"),

and "Teatr" ("Theater"), which together were

to

make up

the ideological core of the publication and defined the "strictly

partisan" character noted by Rozanova. Although

Cubism remained

a

theme throughout, the accent had

shifted to the formation of a universal theory of nonobjectivity in

painting, literature, music, architecture, sculpture,

theater,

and

no small measure to

in

rather than practical basis.

of a

contributors (Yurkevich)

indisputably confirmed by the contents of the journal:

"Suprematism philosophy

The

is

is

to

all

previously existing painting as

to journalism."' 7

journal's

that

program and contents were well defined in

Matiushin written that May: "A periodical. in

nature.

Its

The

materials (not only for the

all

even for the second

June 1917.

In July,

were

issue)

end of the

fuss

fall,

connection

in

in

They

few members

Udaltsova's diary of

November

22:

of the group] broke with Suprematism in

an outrageous manner. Malevich suddenly went quarreled; into

the journal comes out and

if

but

fine,

it,

being

is still

serious differences

the Suprematists had begun to emerge, judging by

a note

[a

but

first,

effect ready by

in

with the publication of the journal, which

among

spite

in

Rozanova wrote to Shemshurin: "These

few days there has been some

such faith

if

the

money

the journal;

in

it

is

has

we

crazy,

and we

we

get back what

gone, horrible.

.

bogged down, but

I

put

There was

.

.

still

think

it

appear."

On March

20, 1918, Udaltsova

made

the

final

her diary concerning the unpublished journal: terribly

disappointing that our journal has not

out." 23

It

possible that after the journal

is

new

Rozanova (given her position as that, after

Strictly

1918,

(in

theater,

painting,

and so

on). Articles, a chronicle, letters, aphorisms, poetry.

NINAGURIANOVA

had already

issue

wrote to Matiushin

issue of the journal never did appear,

first

of the fact that

past

of

has already been delivered to the printer." 20

a letter to

program: Suprematism

sculpture, architecture, music, the

"it

first

18, she

end

the process

in

entry

in

"How come

was not

published the printer returned the manuscripts to

by 1917. Rozanova described Supremus

partisan

at the

philosophical

The provocative nature

remark by one of the Supremus

was

its

Shemshurin

and that the

been composed. 19 On June

will

and

a letter to Andrei

In

printed." 21 By the

"Arkhitektura kak poshchechina zhelezo-betonu" ("Architecture as a Slap

both a popular scholarly and a nonfictional

of being published

partly

not appearing

his position of

18

May, Rozanova wrote that the journal was

as the principal contributors to the journal.

original structure of the journal

First

were

others,

articles of

nature.

By the middle of 1917, Puni, Boguslavskaia, Popova,

and

reproductions of Suprematist pictures, and applied art,"

and

editorial secretary),

Rozanova's premature death

some

of these

went

in

to Kruchenykh

and from

there to Nikolai Khardzhiev. These materials are his archive at

the Stedelijk

and

November

now

Museum, Amsterdam.

Judging by the editorial notes preserved

in

the

in


Khardzhiev archive, the

issue of the journal

first

was

to be

divided into four main sections: Painting (Cubism), Literature, Music,

and Theater.

Critical reviews, art

and correspondence were placed

end of the

at the

ued

news, issue.

("Greeting to the Suprematists," the in

Rozanova's hand on lined paper)

May

1917" and labeled

1,

24

marked "Moscow,

"0 bespredmetnom

new fair

zemli

i

"Cubism"

which appears to be

"Cubism"); first

draft

The

Word

we

Roslavets, 25

I

on the

basis of

to begin with Kruchenykh's

as Such," "No. 10"), originally published

1917

in

especially for

texts in this section

Gly-Gly

(in

in

1913 and

Supremusâ&#x201E;˘ From

we know that

the remaining

were to have been Kruchenykh's play

which the protagonists are Velimir Khlebnikov,

and the zaum poetry

was intended

in

texts.

Finally, in

in

among

1917 goda

utors. This

the case with "Kubizm, futunzm, suprema-

by Kruchenykh. 35 in

Music" was

the music section, presumably with other

the

last

part of the issue

would have been

Malevich's essay "Theater," followed by a chronicle written

fragmentary informathe contrib-

in

iaitsa (Blue Eggs),

Kruchenykh and

"On the Old and the New

Matiushin's article to be included

this first

from correspondence

collections Balos, by

Rozanova, and Golubye

for

tion gleaned is

preceding

all

Vladimir Mayakovsky, Malevich, Matiushin, and Rozanova)

have determined to belong to

issue of the journal

to be concluded

missing from the

The archive contains other manuscripts

section.

form that

it

was

Rozanova's correspondence,

a preliminary version of

can only assume that

was

a text titled "Usta

is

and

literary section

reworked

iskusstve"

khudozhnik" ["The Mouth of the Earth and the

Artist"], 27

the

text

a draft, 26 however,

is

section of the journal

"Deklaratsna slova kak takovogo" ("The Declaration of the

current, including Suprematism. Unfortunately, the

copy of Malevich's

first

art styles.

sets forth the basic philosophical sources of the

archive (there

The

Supremus," 33 addresses the same

the distinction between Suprematism and

red pencil "No. 1," which

("On Nonobjective Art") by the composer which

is

Next (labeled "No. 2") was to have been the

general theoretical article

issues of

by Yurkevich's brief and rather superficial untitled essay on

copy of which

manifesto was to open the

clearly indicates that this issue.

in

is

by Udaltsova ("No. 8"), which was "to be contin-

in later

issues.

Malevich's manuscript "Privetstvie suprematistam" final

thoughts on the subject. An untitled

reflects Malevich's article

Malevich's hand, titled "Shto proiskhodelo v fevrale i

v

March 1917"),

marte" ("What Happened reviews,

and

in

February and

by Udaltsova to

letters

tizm" ("Cubism, Futurism, Suprematism") by Rozanova 28

Malevich ("No. 19") and to Rozanova ("No. 20") and her

and "0 starom

notes entitled "Thoughts on Art" ("No. 21"). 36

New

in

i

novom

v

muzyke" ("On the Old and the

Music") by Matiushin; 29 both essays are absent

from the Khardzhiev archive, but the authorized typewritten originals are

in

other collections

in

In

the text that

article

"Architecture as a Slap

in

"Futurism" 3

been

Kliun's

'

is

is

labeled "No. 5,"

marked "No.

7."

open the

journal, "Greeting to

years

now have become

and

decades, but

we

have as before

the Face to remained true to our

Ferroconcrete" 30

to

Moscow. Malevich's Many

programmatic

was

the Suprematists," Malevich wrote:

his article

Between these may have

"Nonobjective Art," 32 which on the whole

Burning tirelessly

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;or

in

ever

spirit

new

like ovens,

materials

we

we have

resmelt

new

deductions

51

acquired,

we

will

move

conclusions and form


am

I

delighted with our meeting on the pages of the

laboratory-house Supremus.

More than once have we met road.

Where we

at

common

the stations along our

met, the bonfires burned, raising the flame of the

mountain. Jack of Diamonds, Donkey's

Tramway

Tail,

Union of Youth,

Target,

The Store.

V, 0.10,

These are the

sites of

our burned-out bonfires, our days,

already past.

The

aspiration to

make Supremus an

"laboratory-house" manifested

itself

of content (each article touches,

on the problematic school and urges

not only at the

level

one way or another,

relationship of the individual to the

artists to

overcome

"collective creation"), but also

such different

in

extraindividual

artistic

in

individuality in

the very unusual unity of

voices (Rozanova, Matiushin,

Udaltsova, Roslavets) orchestrated by Malevich.

Initially,

it

seems, the issue was to have begun with a brief joint ," 37

declaration by the Suprematists, "Our Consciousness

signed by the

members

N. Udaltsova,

M. Menkov,

N. Roslavets,

.

.

of the group: "K. Malevich, L.

Popova [crossed out

probably by Malevich], N. Davydova, WORKS DESIGNED BY NATALIA DAVYDOVA. OLGA ROZANOVA. AND NADEZHDA UDALTSOVA IN THE SECOND EXHIBITION OF CONTEMPORARY DECORATIVE ART â&#x20AC;˘VERBOVKA," SALON K MIKHAILOVA. MOSCOW,

.

M. Matiushin,

I.

in pencil,

Kliun, Yurkevich,

out

Pestel, Exter [crossed

in

INSTALLATION OF

DECEMBER

6-19, 1917

pencil, also

probably by Malevich]." (The original,

Malevich's hand, tion

was

is

in

the Khardzhiev archive.) The declara-

to set forth the goal of the journal and

Courtesy Institute of Modern Russian Culture, Los Angeles

ideological position, establishing

passing

all

spheres of

we

artistic activity: "In

NINAGURIANOVA

artistic,

our

life."

a

new

encom-

our journal

have set out to provide the contours of the

idea of Suprematism, which bears within

the

its

Suprematism as

"basis for creativity," a universal synthetic style

Supremus,

in

musical,

it

a

new

idea of

and poetic perception of nature and


a

The rhetoric of

this text

full

is

Cubo-Futunst manifestos, and

new

art as the only

means

yesterday into the

new

Suprematism,

Cubism

conceptual

it

is

is

Cubism

of allusions to early

rooted

in

the myth

of the

of breaking out of "the ring of

day."

In

Malevich's "genealogy" of

that plays the

most important

as an aesthetic

phenomenon and

(already explored by Russian artists

were

of

no

to appear

in

Supremus

to 1915)

was

exclusively

on the

level

on

are of value to museums, like the

muscles of meat," a revolutionary source that has led to

—or the creative

will

— over

did not prevent the Suprematists from recognizing themselves as part of the international

Cubism was to be present

in

as a general

any of the

articles)

reinvented by

Suprematists as the origin of the avant-garde tradition tradition that

was nonetheless

new methodological

revolutionary. This

approach, based on

reflection by the avant-garde.

was

— a

historical self-

Supremus was the

first

attempt to establish the Russian avant-garde movement as

an

artistic entity

within

own

its

historical

development, as

a dynamically evolving, self-regenerating tradition.

(Malevich wrote

Futurism principal

In

"Futurism" that "the

new

shortcoming of the Futurists to be fact that they

"stopped and

their "acad-

tried to use old

of expression to convey the new.")

in

much

Impressionism (or rather the concept or formula of

movement

little in

common

squares

monuments

with the actual

of the latter half of the nineteenth century).

in

public squares.

I

and Futurism

to Cubism

and

that defeated the old art of repetition

brought us to spontaneous creation

Malevich praised the destruction of things

Cubism,

in

which he believed had completely changed the reference points of

art,

singling out

and leading

of painterly language "as such"

to the

dominance

and the study

of the

formal qualities of painting. "Considering Cubism the liant

objectness,

we emerge

into space, color,

with these three worlds that in

bril-

solution to our problems, being liberated from

we

will

and time.

explore our

following issues of Supremus," he wrote

of the Earth

and the

Artist."

in

It

is

new

tasks

"The Mouth

According to Malevich, the in this

direction by

abstracting the primary elements of painterly structure, particularly color

and form: "Through Cubism and

Futurism, the artist burst with a convulsive

the freedom of pure

came

creativity, into

color. Painting

continues: "Cubism

the 1920s he would deconstruct and reinvent

Impressionism, which had

weapons

in

They

art.

of the Social Revolution.

which monuments should be erected

painting

Malevich's almost postmodern sensibility, he

projected the Suprematist perception onto Cubism, as

relics

Suprematists took the next step

value of

— speed — must not be finalized" and named the

emism," the

means

in

as the

European avant-garde,

Supremus only

concept (no names, even those of Georges Braque and in

Relics to

propose creating

"varnished art." While a strong sense of national identity

mentioned

of an

"Futurism":

in

Cubism and Futurism are the revolutionary banners of

Picasso, are

Cubism

over the principles of the Old

role, a "victory

Rationality of centuries of culture," "supported

the triumph of "creation"

it

the years leading up

interest to the Suprematists.

form Malevich wrote

idea, a

in

the practice of

is

closest to color."

issue in

Cubism,

it

is

movement

only color and form."

the time of art

when

While color was not

became the fundamental

painting for the Suprematists.

Futurism, Suprematism"

In

into

the study of pure

He

consciousness really a

major

principle of

Rozanova's "Cubism,

and Malevich's

articles for

Supremus, a new concept was introduced: color-painting

53


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

(tsvetopis). 38

Malevich wrote

soundless poetry, intended not for reading and declama-

"Greeting to the

in

Suprematists":

tion but for purely visual perception. In the revised

"Declaration of the Having been transfigured

in

Word

as Such," Kruchenykh theorized

the rapids of the changing, running

we have

leapt

beyond the boundaries of the

on the mutually complementary (but not interchangeable)

zero of repetitions and have

come

face to face with color. Color

nature of abstract visual and auditory elements

rings of the horizon,

and color alone touches our creative nucleus. centrifugal

force

creates

new

strata

of

turns

It

color

it,

and the

masses,

naked

process of intuitive cognition: "sound painting,

and the

letter in

on the formal categories

This exclusive concentration

of painting allowed the artist to exceed

Already

in

1915, Rozanova had professed that "objectness

and nonobjectness

(in

painting) are not

tendencies within a single I

its

even think

it

art,

but

two

two

in

nonobject

art." 39

very notion of nonobjective art

beyond the bounds of

and

interesting article

"On Nonobjective

going

in

which he perceived

tions.

Painting

not at

is

all

for easel pictures or for exhibi-

The old methods of reproducing and of viewing

The extant

art

New wine demands new

the next urgent question."

is

from

a particular interpretation, the

notion of the "nonobjec-

Supremus, "Perhaps the

are probably not suitable now.

wineskins. This

a return

ideas of universal that exist independently of things.

tive" can be reduced to a simple rejection of the

New

is

the Supremus texts, especially

As Yurkevich wrote

easel painting.

untitled manuscript for

of the

the individualistic philosophy of the particular to Platonic

Within in his

intense

nonobjective creation,

a

possibility of

new epistemology

Art," Roslavets discussed the basis of the philosophy of

Contained within the

was the

in

in

those by Malevich and Roslavets. In his

different arts

on

music, color

in

nonobjective, which Kruchenykh only touched upon,

different

sensible to substitute projections

screen for paint

color)." This

another core theme

limitations.

the

poetry (thought = insight +

nonobjective peaks of facets joined together.

sound + outline +

in

articles written for

Supremus unquestion-

ably indicate that Malevich originally considered his style

the

artist

dependency of

on the necessity to represent the object and on subordi-

nation to canons that require the

artist

to copy "nature," to

render as accurate as possible a reproduction of visible nature

and surrounding

objects.

term one goes back to "nonobjectiveness"

however,

If,

a universal,

in art

in

the interpretation of our

the

artist's striving

toward

can be raised to a profound basic prin-

ciple of creativity.

as synthetic of

and

and not bound by the borders

universal

one or another genre or form of

promoted

unbound

his nonobjectivity

"creativity" (as

art.

Moreover, he

theory as a theory of

opposed

of "art") capable of penetrating

to the

Following Schopenhauer's conception, Roslavets singled

out the notions of "will" and "intellect":

"narrow" notion

beyond the boundaries of

The power of the thing, of the the idea; consequently,

artistic activity

to

encompass the most

life.

will,

direct influence of Malevich,

during this period

became

interested

NINAGURIANOVA

is

the power of the form,

and, as Schopenhauer correctly observes, only the intel-

lect liberated

Under the

object,

a state of the intellect enslaved by

is

diverse spheres of the

human

it

in

Kruchenykh

the notion of

from the

will,

the pure

to the heights of the intuitive insight exclusively

depends. Our

will

is

a

intellect,

is

capable of

upon which

rising

creative genius

symbol of the connection


between our

spirit

(pure intellect) and matter, the earth, our

personal subjective interests. The activity of

will

is

therefore opposed to

the intellect directed toward anything but

the purely practical

Only the

artist,

through contemplation and

from the

ble of liberating himself

will

intuition,

that binds

and understanding the essence of pure creative tive (ideas).

The liberated

naturalistic

dogmatism with

primary forms his soul,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; ideas

goals

its

...

and phenomena].

relationship [to things

...

all

all

orifices of things

for

have wanted to

will in its objec-

sense" of

the Platonic sense) that are concealed

moments

to

be

embodied

intuitively

his

in

from the particular to the

was toward

synthesis,

who have gone

universal:

back out of things, out of the center of

in

creative exertions

its

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; they have

of creative inspi-

when

have cracked the

shell of

the

he

Intuition

art.

who

toward space. Those

egg of creation of nature and emerged from

it

with no thought

rational-

to the pieces of

must

the essence and the synthesis and

the earth, out of the marrow of

understands to be the highest stage of cognition, ity

through color they

proceeding upward on the steps of generalized notions

striven

ration

...

acts

wealth of

at

know

the soul of things." The other path

human

faith in the inexhaustible

from which he draws upon

the

in

through the word they nave searched

.

.

themselves and for the mystery

But those (in

.

cracks

little

capa-

is

"common

replaces the

artist

they have tried to penetrate into the

its

scattered armor. Those

who have come

out of

yield to "faith."

the color of things to color. Let us proceed out of the labyrinth of

Roslavets perceived the origin of the principle of

nonob-

the earth into boundless space with numbers and color and

let

us

husk the grain of consciousness.

jectiveness

in art

to

lie in

the rejection of positivist

rationalism, of a utilitarian attitude

contemporary

artist

has

toward

now matured

art:

"The

The notion of

to a consciousness

etics of

Supremus

and

intuition

can,

I

think,

of the necessity to separate completely the will from the

synonymous with

intellect in the creative process."

priority to creative intuition

"The Mouth of the Earth and the

In

new

discussed Suprematism as a

was not

to establish a

new

beauty (which Malevich,

Malevich

Artist,"

philosophy,

whose

goal

aesthetics or criterion of

in his

Suprematism,

rejects),

In

where

like

called the "temptation of the

mold," and continued, "our

a powerful springboard at the

word and the sound, have stuck onto

not a heavy clay of

web

spider's

in

entangled." Following Plato's essay

dialectic,

two opposing methodological

essence of the to proceed

first,

in

forming a

he described

principles.

in his

The

which he considered a dead end, was

downward from

the particular

things,

which consciousness has become

the most universal notions to

an attempt "to find out the secret"

through an object or thing contained within the boundaries of the material, "created" world:

"through

spirit,

the Old

in

this individualism as

to liberate consciousness: "The threads of the mind, the

whole

gave

over rational consciousness

"On the New and

Matiushin described but

metapo-

creation. Like Roslavets, Malevich

and what Matiushin personal."

inspiration in the

be interpreted as a principle

all

moment

Music,"

creeping "every-

new body must be of brilliant flight,

sorts of lascivious slush." Malevich,

Matiushin, and Roslavets

used the same metaphor of

all

earth to refer to the world of the purely material, the

world revolving around the absolute creative

that

all

will

is

is

human, too human; only

capable of bursting beyond

the bounds of this world and approaching a knowledge of being. As Malevich wrote

in

"Cubism": "A great and

mighty creative power has been shackled by the power of consciousness."

55


In this

overcoming of human dimensions,

that dates to the Renaissance, a world

"human"

some

in

notion set forth by Heidegger

in

phenomenal world, the perception humanity, that

is

in its

the task of

is

knowledge

of the

of being rather than of

and

art,

art

contrasted with that of "art," which

repeatedly regarded as

synonymous

is

polished professional "mastery," implying a utilitarian nature.

In

"Futurism," Malevich wrote:

The unions and guilds of painters that have

arisen

art

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

complicated by the fact

is

its

.

.

.

Kliun

is

always

can embrace

art,

but not

burned up the reasoning

Socialism has illuminated to the world

freedom, and Art has

Creativity."

vague and often

interpretations art

in all

creativity; creativity

vice versa. "Refined culture has

fallen before

the face of

41

began

essay "Nonobjective Art" with a

his

general definition of art and a reference to "the confusion

two notions

of art

art,

.

.

representational art and the art

.

He divided the

of abstract form."

two

with "craft" or

and

creativity

faculty] of art.

of

the idea of the

articles,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

contradictory, but

equated with

is

aspiration to define the "creative will."

Throughout the Supremus "creative will"

respects resembles the

is

it

concepts

that the definitions provided are very

secondary to

"Letter on Humanism."

the ontology of Suprematism,

philosophy

which everything

in

the center of the universe, Suprematism's

is

poetics of dehumanization

In

the rejec-

in

European concept of the "humanist" world

tion of the

stages, with the

first,

extending from "the

entire history of art into

the period of representational

first

awakening of

artistic

consciousness

in

the savage up to and including" Cubism

and Futurism.

In

the second, most recent phase, he wrote,

connection

in

"art has ceased to be a

means and has become an end

in

with the great Russian Revolution eloquently express artisan principles. This

is

the road of classifying people according to their

guild. But there

is

something

classification or guild. This

of an idea, recycling

becomes

in

[of

the

first

in art

is

is

not amenable to any

present

discovered forms, and

an idea or form]

a utilitarian

that

something

product

starts;

...

[it]

it

in

the

first

steps

itself."

continued, "should not have any place

own

ends where the

ceases

its

work and

The "elements of reason, sense,

feeling," he in art; art

has

its

reason and sense."

This rejection of "reason" (or the "old reason")

favor of the creative principle

is

present also

in

in

Malevich's

producing things for the use of

and Kruchenykh's

rhetoric:

"Thought and speech cannot

the majority.

keep up with the experience of inspiration," Kruchenykh Creativity ability,

a

is

regarded as a

skill.

gift,

Suprematism

whereas

art

a trained

is

a revolution, a revolt against

is

the "artisan guilds." Malevich contrasted his concept of creativity to the notion of "art as a utilitarian, ideological (political,

transform to

its

art into a

means": "aesthetic,

propagandistic) functions

means. Only nonobjective

art,

owing

abstraction from the hurly-burly of the personal,

family,

and governmental

rejecting these functions."

life

40

NINA GURIANOVA

of protocols,

is

capable of

Analysis of these

two

wrote

in

"The Declaration of the Word as Such." The

principles of dissonance, disharmony, "shifts"

the

means by which the

aesthetic values are

overcome

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; "through the storm, the

crash, the break, the shine, the

blows of the steps of the

gigantic stride of running, smashing,

Malevich described

in

become

"old reason" and traditional

and

shifting," as

"Greeting to the Suprematists."

Here he introduced the dissonant poetic metaphor of the "angle," which symbolized the rejection of the aesthetic


beauty

criterion of

in

nonobjective

art:

"By lowering the

we

idea of Suprematism into shells of crudeness,

Our

its viability.

step

first

assure

be the beginning of

will

road, of criss-crossing angles." Roslavets wrote

this

in

new

"On

Nonobjective Art":

"collective creativity."

liberating himself

artist

liberates

prevented

psychology and emotions of the spirit

through

come

liberation of art will scholastic

called "science of beauty"

built;

all

have thus

that

crashing

down

far

And with the

true essence.

its

the fortresses of

all

its

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; aesthetics â&#x20AC;&#x201D; because

tenets were derived and

not only did "things vanish

field of vision,

tions

fetters

last

dogmatism erected by the bustling labor of the

from which

in

artist,

Matiushm,

creativity.

the liberation of in

"On the New

Music," wrote:

from the power of the representational, the

from the

art

gone

like

smoke

like

as well

upon which they were based over

it

is

so-

The gifted and

upon which

smoke" from the

was

it

artist's

were the rotten founda-

brilliant

individuals of the past did not notice

that seeping from everywhere into their originally pure creative

flood were trickles of their

little

personal

"I,"

which, as they

merged, muddied and completely perverted their precious

the object

The strongest were obliged to savagely force spiritual

and corporeal nature

in

bearing them into the heavens free from the tasty burden of their

the

Suprematists advanced the "objective" notion of the

wrote

in

"Cubism":

little "I."

2 x 2 = 4 beautiful or ugly?

painting

in

particular,

and

in

2x2

we cannot

= 4.... There are

say they are beautiful.

The same obtains

general there

is

a

artist," a

"whim

negative manifestation of individuality.

of

In

"Thoughts on Art," she wrote: "The creation of epochs

is

[according to the law and therefore] greater than the

Beauty, taste, the ideal are terribly subjective. Everyone will agree

that a square has four corners and that

laws and formulae about which

poor

order to preserve the flame

Udaltsova interpreted feeling and taste as the

creative "law." Malevich

gift

their

entire centuries.

Instead of the "subjective" criterion of beauty, the

Is

make

but a universal idea presumably free from the individual

the

from manifesting

it

set out to

the nonobjective not an individual reflection of the soul,

and the Old In

The Suprematists

in

creation of the individual soul." Matiushin proposed that

the recipe for overcoming the "individual" specifically in the

the art of real,

law

in art

new

music, lay

healthy dissonance.

.

.

in

in

creation,

the "furious protest of

The only thing that can

.

that

smooth out these beaten

tracks

and habitual

inspired pits

spares us this word.

of This idea of the objective law

(from "The artist

Mouth

is

expressed

in

the formula

of the Earth and the Artist"): "The

weary [consonance] and

law based on the of the "earthly"

There

is

collective,

on an overcoming of the ego,

personal set squarely before

a deliberate

tendency

toward the extraindividual

in

the Supremus texts

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a metamorphosis

in

avant-

garde self-image from individual consciousness to

is

the

In this

it."

self-contradictory perception of art as both a

"created construction" subject not to

"one must" the

self.

T

powerful dissonance of the great intuition of the extra-

must do not what he wants, but what must be

done." Malevich's "must" presupposes a universal creative

joys of the personal

in

same time

and

want" but

to

accordance with an objective law, and as an act of pure creative will

rather than of intellect, intelligent

"I

in this

rebellious

antnntellectual, there

of rationalism with mysticism

is

and

pose of the

anti-

a paradoxical union

and utopianism, an

57

at

intuition


approach Malevich himself aptly defined as the

"intuitive

reason" of Suprematism.

Notes I

to thank Geurt Imanse,

like

(London: Gordon

Chief Curator for Research and

represented a

new epistemology

and not merely this

Suprematism

entire depth, Malevich's notion of

In its

a

of art, a spiritual quest,

Documentation,

in

He continued

painting.

Amsterdam, and the Foundation

10. Malevich,

Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga for

fevrale

quest beyond the boundaries of painting;

lished materials

archive.

in articles

Rougle

on poetry and music,

in

brochures, and even

he

in letters,

of expressing the

new

weight of

critical

language capable

am

I

from the Khardzhiev

for his

remained

in his

generous help with the

Amsterdam. Malevich, untitled unpublished

1

manuscript ("Chelovek est pechat

took upon himself the labor of

Malevich's literary style that

is

It

is

precisely

K.

Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-

Kovtun,

the key to understanding

May

12.

29, 1915,

god

is

and imperatively dogmatic. The

ecstatic

is

Malevich, letter to Matiushin,

27, 1915,

reminiscent of a passionate, fanatical

M V sermon.

In this

furious attitude toward art

is

something

religious, or

more

exactly, heretical: his

be "believed

all

in." Similarly,

Malevich, letter to Matiushin,

29, 1915,

in his

May

"Malevich, K Pisma

in

Matiushinu," p

k

186

September 24, 1915,

it,

V

in

"Malevich, K

Matiushinu," p

Olga Rozanova,

letter to

14. See

E.

Kovtun's commentaries

F.

Matiushinu,"

p.

15 Malevich,

letter to

in

M

V

180.

Matiushin,

"Malevich, K. Pisma p.

16.

M

k

V

195.

M. M. Bakhtin, "Toward a

Methodology

187

Human

for the

Bakhtin, Speech Genres

Late Essays, trans. Vern

Sciences,"

and Other

W

McGee

in

(Austin: University of Texas, 1986),

Experiment 5 (1999), pp. 77-78.

was

Cultural Center

"Malevich, K Pisma k

Aleksei

Kruchenykh, December 1915,

the school

the Khardzhiev

in

Amsterdam.

in

5.

is

The Foundation

Khardzhiev-Chaga, Stedelijk Museum,

1917,

exceeded the boundaries of purely professional definitions

As he understood

The document

Matiushinu,"

interpretation far

May

Malevich, letter to Matiushin,

Pisma k M.

or notions of the guild.

13.

in

the 4.

notion of the school or group

May

Pisma k

Matiushinu," pp. 185-86.

M V theories must above

K.

and the word 3

there

"Malevich,

in

Matiushin,

Gurianova, Exploring Color,

168

p

archive.

186.

p.

in

F

(Leningrad: Rukopisnyi otdel

tone 2.

of his essays

E

Doma na 1974

Pushkinskogo Doma, 1976),

categorical

Museum, Amsterdam.

letter to

"Malevich,

in

Matiushinu," ed.

Ezhegodnik rukopisnogo

in

Rozanova,

1917, V.

otdela Pushkinskogo

the essence of his theories. His Suprematist language

Stedelijk

Kazimir Malevich, letter to Mikhail

Pisma k M.

.")

.

(1917), Khardzhiev archive, The

valuable comments.

Matiushin,

the absurd paradoxes and irony of alogism.

The Foundation Cultural Center

deeply grateful to John Malmstad.

many 1.

unpub-

v marte,"

and

Chaga,

writings of the romantic pathos of Futurist manifestos or

i

manuscript (1917), Khardzhiev

Khardzhiev-Chaga, Stedelijk Museum,

reading the manuscript and offered

his ideas. Little

lished

1

am who

Breach, 2000),

"Shto proiskhodelo v

1917 goda

archive,

indebted to Charles

translation of the original citations, I

agonizingly searched for a

unpub-

&

the Early

1910-1918

169.

p.

Museum,

Stedelijk

their gracious help in obtaining

new method

and

Color Olga Rozanova Russian Avant-garde

would

p

a "laboratory-house," a political party, a religion: 6.

166.

Malevich, letter to Matiushin,

17 Yurkevich, untitled unpublished

September 25, 1915,

Who The

will pass

New

on the new book of new laws from our tablets?

Gospel

in art.

.

.

.

heaven on earth,

Christ revealed

.

.

.

set

an end to space, established two boundaries, two poles. ... As

Pisma k M.

V

we

will pass

thousands of poles.

.

heaven, stronger, more powerful, and our

.

.

Space

is

new book

larger than

7

manuscript (1917), Khardzhiev archive,

The Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga, Stedelijk Museum,

teaches the

Pisma k

M V

explains the

in

"Malevich, K. 18.

Matiushinu,"

1916 dating

of

p.

Supremus manuscripts,

1917,

archive.

is

in

in

letter to

Matiushin,

p.

168

particu-

the Khardzhiev

The Foundation Cultural Center

19 Rozanova,

Shemshunn,

letter to

late

May

Andrei

1917,

Gurianova, Exploring Color,

in

p.

June 18, 1917, Manuscript Division, Institute of Russian Literature

Amsterdam.

(Pushkinskii

Rozanova,

1916,

in

letter to

Kruchenykh,

Nina Gurianova, Exploring

171.

20. Rozanova, letter to Matiushin,

Khardzhiev-Chaga, Stedelijk Museum,

9.

May

Gurianova, Exploring Color,

of the

Matiushm's, which

The document

Rozanova,

186. This

some

was not sent until 1917 but was probably begun in 1916 and then laid aside larly

8.

NINA GURIANOVA

Amsterdam.

Malevich, letter to Matiushin,

extant

space of the wilderness. 42

"Malevich, K

pp 180-81

October 27, 1916,

for us,

in

Matiushinu,"

Dom),

f.

656.


"

1

Rozanova,

2

Shemshurin,

"Futunzm" (1917),

31. Malevich,

Andrei

letter to

in

Gunanova, Exploring

published

in

173

Color, p.

32 Ivan

Kliun,

Moi put

Vospominaniia,

1916-1918,"

RA, 1999), pp. 250-54

Udaltsova. Zhizn russkoi

kubistki. Dnevniki, stati,

vospominaniia

(Moscow: RA, 1994),

39

23

Ibid,

p.

(1917); published (with the

"Supremus")

stati,

from the

"Privetstvie suprematis-

tam" (1917). published in Experiment 5 77-78 All quotes from this

(1999), pp.

due

from the published source,

to differences in the interpretation

manuscript (1917), Khardzhiev archive,

handwriting.

38

see

summer

An

identical

Color, p.

Museum, Amsterdam

Stedelijk

copy of

Moscow,

Gallery,

Chaga, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

this text,

from

40.

published

is

my

in

Modern

(1917), published in Experiment 5

in

in

Gurianova, Exploring

56.

Quoted from the

original manuscript

Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-

41.

Stedelijk

Museum, Amsterdam.

Ibid.

41 (Berkeley: Berkeley Slavic

Specialties, 1999), pp.

203-05.

42. Malevich, letter to Matiushm,

1917, is

Rozanova wrote to Udaltsova

tion,"

My

April 1917. "1)

rather than from the published source,

in

"Malevich, K Pisma k M.

V.

ready for publica-

Matiushinu," p

this

from the original manuscript

1

Russian Literature and Culture,

35. "The following

quotes from

1915,

the Khardzhiev archive, The

Chaga,

literaturnogo naslediia Kruchenykh,

vol.

"Kubizm" ("Cubism")

All

Exploring Color

Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-

Iz

Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-

pp 94-97

Suprematism and color-painting,

in

my

39. Rozanova, letter to Kruchenykh,

manuscript, Khardzhiev archive. The

manuscript, Khardzhiev archive. The

26. K. Malevich,

For a detailed discussion of

color

34 Aleksei Kruchenykh, "Deklaratsua

Matiushin's archive at the State Tretiakov

text are

differ-

the interpretation of Malevich's

in

Rozanova's contribution to the theory of

Amsterdam

iskusstve" (1917), unpublished

(1999),

this text are

from the published source, due to ences

Chaga,

"O bespredmet-

Nikolai Roslavets,

nom

quotes from

slova kak takovogo" (1913-17),

original manuscript

from the

of Malevich's handwriting

25

All

original manuscript rather than

33 Udaltsova, untitled unpublished

Khardzhiev-Chaga, Stedelijk Museum,

rather than

pp 90-92.

The Foundation Cultural Center

p 42

24 K Malevich,

text are

title

Experiment 5 (1999),

in

v iskusstve.

dnevniki (Moscow:

22 Nadezhda Udaltsova, "Dnevnik in

37 Malevich, "Nashe soznanie

no 57 (1918)

Anarkhiia.

195

in

['Cubism,

article

Futurism, Suprematism'] 2) Kruchenykh's

due

to differences

in

the interpretation

Word'

play 3) 'Declaration of the

4) the

of Malevich's handwriting.

poetry collection Balos and 5) Blue 27. K. Malevich, "Usta zemli

i

khudozh-

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Eggs

two

of these

collections

nik" (1916-17), unpublished manuscript,

Kruchenykh suggested printing whatever

Khardzhiev archive, The Foundation

we

Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga,

here as well;

Stedelijk

Museum, Amsterdam

My two poems

think possible.

Malevich that

tell

object to including

them

Exploring Color,

169.)

28 Rozanova, "Kubizm, futunzm, supre-

p.

"

are

don't

(Gunanova,

The

manuscripts of Rozanova's

matizm" ("Cubism, Futurism,

I

original

article

"Cubism. Futurism, Suprematism" and

Suprematism") (1917), manuscript, private collection, first in

English, in

Moscow, published from Painting to

Oesign: Russian Constructivist Art of the Twenties, exh. cat E

,

ed.

and

trans.

John

Bowlt (Cologne: Galene Gmurzynska,

1981), pp.

"0 Starom Novom i

in

a

Moscow.

private collection in

36. All of these unpublished manuscripts

are

in

the Khardzhiev archive,

Amsterdam.

same

100-13

29. Matiushm,

her and Kruchenykh's poetry are

In

a note to Malevich in the

archive, Udaltsova

another

mentioned

Supremus,

article for

v

"Otnoshenie publiki

muzyke" (March 20, 1916), authorized

nomu

iskusstvu,"

i

kntiki k

sovremen-

and suggested the

typewritten original, Manuscript Division,

Mayakovsky Museum, Moscow,

following order for printing her materiinv.

no. als:

"1)

first this

11865 ['No. 8'], 2)

30. Malevich, "Arkhitektura kak

Critic's

poshchechma zhelezo-betonu" (1917),

'Thoughts on

published

in

the

Moscow

anarchist

essay

then 'The Public and the

Attitude Art.'

'

3) letters, 4)

...

My

letter to

you

is

better not to publish, perhaps.

newspaper Anarkhna. no. 37 (1918).

59


22

SUPREMATISMUS

MALEWITSCM

1913-20

PAGE FROM

EL LISSITZKY

LES ISMES DE

AND HANS

ARP, DIE

KUNSTISMEN

CART THE ISMS OF ART (ERLENBACH-

ZURICH- EUGEN RENTSCH, 1925)


< >

>

THE OPTIMISM OF A N O N O B "The optimism of defined

E

J

all.

is

how

Kazimir Malevich

Bog ne Not Cast Down: Art,

the philosophical polemical tract

Tserkov, Fabrika

Church, Factory, 1922). tion at

I

a nonobjectivist": This

his position in

skinut: Iskusstvo,

CTI V ST

(God

Lissitzky did

El

Is

not understand this posi-

1

The relationship between these two major

figures of twentieth-

century art has always attracted attention. enthusiast of a

renewal of Jewish

art,

Was

the

Lissitzky,

Malevich's student

in

the usual sense of the word? Did Lissitzky betray Marc Chagall for

Malevich? Did

Lissitzky betray

European Constructivism

tivism? Did Lissitzky betray

realism? Lissitzky's art

was

Malevich for European Construc-

a

busy crossroads. Here the history of

Suprematism and Unovism met the garde,

Moscow

of the

1920s,

for Stalinist

history of the Jewish avant-

Constructivism, the European International Style

Dutch De

Stijl,

the Bauhaus, and the Eastern

European avant-garde. These myriad connections help us understand more

fully

the development and uniqueness of the ideas of

Malevich and Unovis. Lissitzky

never forgot the role played

with Suprematism. Even

in

in his life

by

his

encounter

the years of his conscious amnesia

about everything avant-garde, he calmly and unhesitatingly

61

said,


"A

special influence

Malevich." 2 light that

many new

word

"rivalry."

Creative rivalry

does not preclude friendship,

break

with the

late

have come to

facts

and

in

at least to a point, but a

Moscow would open

in

in

mid-November.

in

(It

did

March 25, 1920.)

until

As of November professor

of

1,

Vitebsk.

It

was

1919, Malevich

looked as

and impoverished winter

in

registered as a

he would avoid the cold

if

Moscow, where people were

He would get

stealing fences for fuel.

inevitable.

is

planning

open, but not

allow us confidently to replace the word "friend-

ship" with the itself

me was my friendship

on

recent years,

In

a rest

from the

constant conflicts with Izo Narkompros (the Department of

Do you remember

when we were planning

1919,

Suprematism and wanted

to write a

work on

to

book?

Fine Arts of the People's Commissariat of Education).

Malevich's usual

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Malevich to

Lissitzky,

Vladimir

Where

make

did they

Moscow?

these plans

1919, Lissitzky

In

came

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Vitebsk or

in

Moscow

to

bought

his

apprentices to buy materials for his workshop and invited

Malevich to teach with him

in

The

Vitebsk.

invitation

was

signed by Vera Ermolaeva, rector of the Vitebsk Popular Art School,

who knew

probably checked not

know

Malevich from Petrograd. Lissitzky had all

it

Malevich. Chagall

Suprematist's arrival Ivan Puni (Jean

several

with the director, Chagall,

in

"my

no threat

felt

in

Vitebsk." After

Pougny) had worked

who

did

the Futurist

conflicts

for

them

between

me

away. ...

swiftly.

I

He had

just

Lissitzky three

to Vitebsk."

enough time trip

something took

to

4 It

happened

It

in

took Malevich

that his studio at the

Workshops be

new

place?

He

still

kept.

How would

When

hoped

work out

that a solo exhibition he

VASILII RAKITIN

view

the radical outlook of the

in

May

1919,

was

who

had

his

Kandinsky had a

(just as

in

was

Moscow

innovators. 6

were plans to publish Malevich's theo-

Vitebsk, there

novykh sistemakh v iskusstve (On

retical text

in Art),

to which Malevich

the

New

added "Ustanovlenie

("Statute A"). Three paintings by Malevich, Portrait of

Cow on

Violin (1913),

and

were hung

at the Pervaia

gosu-

the Artist Kliun (1913),

Suprematism

(n.d.),

(First

i

moskovskikh

State Exhibition of Paintings by Local in

after Malevich's arrival there. Lissitzky

Vitebsk a

titled

17, Malevich

"Latest Trends

Futurism)." This

was

in

week

showed works on

Jewish themes. Chagall worried about nothing.

November

Second State Free

things

Parisian, point of

and Moscow Artists), which opened

Vitebsk, Malevich immediately telegraphed

Moscow, asking Art

own,

khudozhnikov

days to get to Smolensk, where they

spent the night before continuing on their journey. they arrived

they would

charge of reform-

in

darstvennaia vystavka kartin mestnykh

do the paperwork

to Vitebsk.

put

David Shterenberg, head of Izo Narkompros,

A"

didn't leave,

was taken away

necessary for a business

and

"I

who had been

Second State Free Art Workshops

Systems

to arise.

Malevich was amazed:

Brik,

museums

to which

wary of him. However, Malevich's main "enemy" was

In

him and Chagall. Or perhaps there simply had not been

enough time

about which paintings would be

museums and

and Osip

ing the

at the school for

months and there had been no

a lot to say

for

prewar Munich point of view), which differed greatly from

the

all,

go,

5

but he also argued with Vasily Kandinsky,

Tatlin,

who had

in

with

opponent within the avant-garde was

1924 3

gave a lecture

On

at the exhibition,

Art (Impressionism, Cubism, and

a familiar topic for him, but for the


<»1CW0B£f«HHE

audience, which included intellectuals from Petrograd,

was

new

strange,

Two

with interest. Lissitzky

artist

had once had on

as a professor ally,

defense of pure

must work

became

who

Lissitzky.

art:

on the students,

like

and

told

as fourteen)

weeks. He was supported, on the

and Nina Kogan. At

become not

The

faculty,

Lissitzky's request,

He was sure

would be published "by

collective

why

in

a

in just

only "the trace of

my

few

by Ermolaeva

he edited

that the thin book,

primitive

a

On New

path but the start of our

project of the "collective

movement"

led by

Committee

where the committee's main meeting was

city

to be

sketch for the curtain, 10 perhaps Lissitzky and

Malevich's only joint decorative project, was,

if

NEW SYSTEMS

ART (VITEBSK. 1919)

not the

come

the Futurists and

to establish

wanted

its

(for

leadership

new

came up with

Art. Unity. Their

common

the

among

the

art? But

word:

a

motto could

cause). Unovis tried

city's art circles.

Forms

1920

in Art,

with Malevich,

Lissitzky,

member

came from

all

Chagall, even

of the

sides.

It

New

Ermolaeva, and

director of the school until the

Ivan Gavris, a

first

though he

end of June

Unovis Creative

later that

"propaganda

reached the point at which Marc

Chagall, under pressure from the extreme

left,

could not

move-

ment. His audience had been propagandized away."" That Unovis worked

is

due

in

great part to Lissitzky

and

Ermolaeva, but Malevich's ideas and his very image had a decisive impact

first,

It

to replace the cultural structures of the local

establish the ideology of his individual-innovator

to

painted 1,500 square

meters of canvas, three buildings, and the stage of the

A

have been pro unovis

New

Committee, related eight years

anniversary convocation of the Vitebsk

held.

only followers? Finally they

was considered

Malevich and Lissitzky was decorations for the two-year-

theater,

IN

Kogan on the board. They forgot

which

methods," 8 would

Combat Unemployment. The group

PAGE FROM KAZIMIR MALEVICH, ON

they to define

authorities with the Council for the Affirmation of

movement." 9

first

How were

Cubists? But after the Cubists had

group of young people (some as

had formed around him

MMBflK

of the Vitebsk school.

Unovis. Affirmers of the

A

a

the Suprematists. As young followers of the

alive in

that modernity represented purity of

favorable atmosphere.

in Art.

was

movement

themselves? As young

course,

Malevich, a born prophet and leader, found himself

Systems

to feel theirs

bound by the frame-

not

the individual.

young

began

work

others, played at revolutionary talk, but

them

MHK

around Malevich

special creative

but as a

art,

he also called passionately on the students to be art

as

of views called Suprematism,

was before them. Of

OHMUXQ

and opened the path

style

artists

They perceived him not only

unknown system

for

the Suprematist

The group of young

Malevich's followers. His effect

first

WA

to his Prouns.

could teach them to work profession-

the discoverer of which Malevich,

9,

bird sings

Lissitzky in

7

European-style, to earn a living from their

guide to the

then one of the

it

received

on December

"A

just as freely."

overwhelming

personality had an it

in

students

Lissitzky's

followed. At one,

rallies

spoke out

and an

freely

was

information, and the lecture

CTAFOTO

on Unovis and the

the 1920s. 12 Malevich proposed a

63

fate of

new

Suprematism

artistic ideology,

in


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popular-scholarly lecture "Obruchennie koltsom gorizonta

op"" 1

noviya

wv 4

p

iu

ipouwMi

50

bis

ciyxt

tv

v iskusstv: kubizm, futurism, suprematizm"

New

("Betrothed by the Ring of the Horizon and the

'l

Ba»w)n ifrrtcnl ID Hip(n.«~

eve of the revolutionary events of February 1917 POSTER FOR MALEVICH'S LECTURE "BETROTHED BY THE RING

NEW

OF THE HORIZON AND

CONSERVATORY. FEBRUARY

IDEAS

ART," THE

IN

MOSCOW

doing

toward

art,

the 1920s'?'

in

as a philosophy

he countered not only

so,

ideologies of

but also the

art,

and

earlier

new

Conservatory. The

the idols of the intelligentsia: Dmitri Merezhkovsky, an

— who

— but way

a

new

a

of

life.

ideologue of Symbolism and the

new

ness; Alexandre Benois,

and

the

In

and contemporary

structures that post-

artistic

an

artist

World of

association

religious consciouscritic

and leader of

Art; Nikolai Berdyaev, a

leading figure of the religio-philosophical renaissance of

the

Silver

and

Petr

Age and one

of the precursors of existentialism;

Kogan, a Marxist and a

sociologist,

active foes of

Malevich, Lissitzky did not have a globalizing idea. Devoted

of the lecture bore a calm, positive character.

new

possibilities

art as a

sensitive to the

and developed over

being

real-

a long period of time, as a

synthetic system similar to that of the Antique or the

Gothic. His idea awaited those refining, polishing,

him,

was

a

would do

way

this.

with enviable perspectives Early on,

new

organic

realize

it,

irrationalist,

he

who

built teaching,

path for seeking

new

As

art in

the 1920s. But the concluding part

art

how

to

make

the basis of training and educat-

artistic personality.

VASILII RAKITIN

One

of the

first

Without any

and Suprematist drawings and paintings,

persuade the audience and to explain

confirmations

his princi-

he drew Cubist pictures. (Masterly

a visual aid,

composition would subsequently be used by Malevich's students In

art

in

Vitebsk.)

1918-19, Malevich's

still

rather abstract concepts of

teaching took on concrete shape and

simultaneously at the his assistant

First

State Free Art

was Nadezhda

Antome school,

Pevsner).

a

He taught

Workshops

his assistant

The teaching experience

where Malevich had

Klutsis, Ivan

clarity.

Udaltsova) and the

Second State Free Art Workshops (where

he had begun thinking about

of the

drawing as a method of explaining the laws of modern

(where

in art.

new

ples.

Teaching, for

it.

and creating the people

rationality, as a

the experience of ing a

who would

and elaborating on

of finding

An

Cubist, Futurist, trying to

his idea of a universal art

new

one

attempt to shock, Malevich demonstrated and explained

own.

Malevich imagined ized

whole and

and nuances of the new, he perceived them

personally, as his

the

began,

as usual, with a sarcastic reply to the foes of avant-garde

October Revolution Russia was offering the world. Unlike

to the idea of

in

artist

1917

25,

with which he hoped not only to change the world didn't grandly proclaim that

Moscow

Small Hall of the

art,

attitude

Ideas

Cubism, Futurism, Suprematism"), presented on the

in Art: lirru

idei

P«l™

ifnm qten

S

his public

1 ipwr'fTop) i

1**1 Si

polemicizing with everyone

and everything to constructive work had been

wmx

lieiiuiiiinirig^Wnwii'

move from

of his intention to

was

at the latter

profound impact on Gustav

Kudriashev, and Sergei Senkin,

was

particularly


valuable.

Shapiro

was

It

also here that

Meerzon and

losif

Group

Tevel

the construction of the

(later Tatlin's assistants in

ment.

.

.

2.

Cubism.

Cubism and nature,

.

.

The symmetry

.

in

statics

and move-

painting of color elements, mass of

form and construction. Sculpture. Constructing forms by the

model of the Monument to the Third Communist

system of Cubism.

and Georgi Krutikov (who would stun

International [1919])

Group

Moscow's

architectural circles

the late 1920s with

in

his

project for a flying city) got their start. In

Art Workshops, presented to the Soviet of Masters and

Group of

this

.

.

.

4.

city

and country,

as things influencing the course of

moment.

Suprematism.

.

Constructing forms by the system

clearly outlined his

program are

of

this,

Malevich's idea of organizing a Russia-wide

several passages

Unovis group based on that relate particularly to his future teaching

(indeed, a comparison of this

Futurism and nature,

and country

Suprematism

In light

teaching process. Within

Futurism. city

construction of a dynamic

the program for his studio at the Second State Free

dated September 15, 1919, Malevich

3.

elements of

in

Vitebsk

seem

unrealistic:

his

teaching program does not

the general, most fundamental principles

program with the programs had already been

laid out.

from Vitebsk shows a conscious borrowing): Group

Abstraction of things, knowledge of painting and

1.

sculptural volumes, planes, lines,

and

/

am

running the entire school, learning from myself.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Malevich to Mikhail Gershenzon,

curves. Preparatory course

1920

-

for Cubism.

The Suprematism that Malevich brought These precepts became the foundation for assignments in

the preparatory workshop taught by Nina Kogan

Vitebsk.

Vitebsk Creative

she

"On the Schedule

her article

In

Program of Unovis,

cites, as

"

published

Committee

1

workshops

Every thing planes,

basically

the main idea

is

about

how

is,

20, 1920),

"primacy of color," geometry.

It

it

operated

in

did not matter that

not very understandable.

language of

a

Its

the pure language of

its

philosophical basis

language was

icons, in that icon painting

is

like

was

the

taught and the

at the

time was organiz-

Orenburg): or

made up

of

lines, curves,

come from the movement

volumes, and

of the point. But ...

is

turned

an organism. [F]rom what has become clear

things and

what they

November

that each of these primary elements

into a body, that

of

in

composed

is

which

,

great advantage

had

over other systems of art. Extolling the

the guide for action, a fragment of a letter

from Malevich to Kudnashev (who ing art

of the Unified

Unovis: Handbill of the

in

(no.

in

to Vitebsk

all

that

primarily consist,

is

visible in

nature are formed, and

came the new method

Malevich's Second State Free Art

of teaching.

Workshops program

continues: PAGE FROM KAZIMIR MALEVICH. ON

SCHEME

65

1

(VITEBSK, 19191

NEW SYSTEMS

IN ART.


understanding of ality

comes

later;

its

spiritu-

Suprematist composition,

once

it

had achieved the

would

status of a sign,

also

acquire meaning.

The Vitebsk programs

CYCLE OF LECTURES (PETROGRAD: SEVENTEENTH

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; they are

Suprematist decoration"

it

become the

new

all

painting's

was

this decorative

volume

in

"new

work

in

the

knowledge and techniques as a

program

Workshops)

in

its

city

in

Modern

art,

was on the

VASILII

RAKITIN

paradoxical situation

something of a

into

worked with

and

incredible energy

system, which he would later

call

[project of the affirmation of the new]). For the artists

judging by their work,

own

it

did not keep

interesting, but,

them from taking

paths toward Suprematism. "Prounism"

remained only the personal invention of

new

a

teaching on projects as in

in his

school, even

imaginations

his students'

Ilia

though the

Lissitzky;

did not

it

effect of Lissitzky's

is

evident

such

in

Chashnik's design for a tribune for Red

Smolensk, published

Vitebsk Creative

Committee

in

(no.

Unovis: Handbill of the 1).

Klutsis's

Dynamic

City (1919)

cosmos: Suprematist space replaced earthly

lies in

reality,

the

and the

sum

of

Prouns were a kind of cosmic experiment (rather than a

but most of

all

way

we

a

see a

Artistic-

with the Bauhaus,

belief that the

and the

toward

Unovisa [project of Unovis] or proekt utverzhdeniia novogo

Suprematism and

their interest

Vkhutemas (Higher

Moscow and

A

attitude

a series of effective decorative

and having turned

own

own

his

The connection between Prouns and Malevich's

more

sharpened

for the students to

impatient. Just like the students

produced

arose: having

Square

Students

roots.

although the Vitebsk programs were probably Their emphasis

the

Suprematism and

for developing creativity. Here

relationship with the early

Technical

decorat-

What was

The curriculum was perceived as

architecture.

was more

the foundations of Suprematism.

become

style for

analytical lessons in the studio

consciously. Their

Lissitzky

their

system as a whole? Decorative

Suprematism wanted to learn about

approached

He waited

hurry.

workshop, being next to the Prouns was

in

possible. 16

through the means of geometry.

artistic

no

"Prounism" (deriving the term "Proun" from proekt

philoso-

could exist

Unovis began with Suprematism as a

Suprematism as an

in

passion on his

Geometry

of form.

1916-17 showed that

connection between

Malevich was

reach an understanding of the system on their own.

power

could have

systems, intended for specific goals." Therefore, a

ing a city

of systems of interrelationships, actions that

man's world view as a whole." 17

projects

another state by becoming more "practical": "Machine,

style of

.

Suprematist, Lissitzky

phy, but the experience of

house, person, table

.

Economy concentrates the

subject of a

in

.

geometric economy." 15

STATE PRINTING HOUSE, 1920)

Suprematism

sum

the

other teachers, he had to grasp

were based on the "law of

MALEVICH'S COVER FOR NIKOLAI PUNIN. FIRST

is

form

the

less

"system

station

move they

on the path to

into architecture

brilliantly

effects.

employed

Malevich

later

are close to Suprematism,

not the

in

was

If

Prouns did

for exhibitions,

a clash of perspectives

in art

as

it

where

and

visual

noted calmly, "Even though Prouns

formal.

same

architecture).

itself,

still

their

dynamic

relations are

Suprematism. The moves are different


and even the figures though the game Lissitzky later

is

in

game

the chess

chess."

are different, even

18

life."

claimed that after

his

departure from

had

Vitebsk, his studio, under Malevich's influence,

was not

interest in architecture, but this

remained a central focus art. Lissitzky's

22

for you,

and you

canvas called to them. This

lost

new

this

artist

dared to

was

Malevich's sacrifice

Malevich continued to give

real leader.

but the tone

Suetin, Chashnik, Ivan Chervinko,

Malevich and

come

his closest

students

to see the law that at

was

it

had

all

begun, and

it

set there by Nikolai

clearly not great."

24

a salvation. Puni said of Black

artistic qualities

of such a

work

many who

Probably there are

are

think

so today.

and Lazar Khidekel. in

Art has once again

Vitebsk had already

Gmkhuk

met the

(State Institute of

Leningrad would be called the "law of true form of the

complementary elements": "Every thing

consists of

new

world of motors and

figurative

machines, the world of technology, which the figurative world of academic

Artistic Culture) in

where

destruction," proclaimed Lissitzky. 23

risk

Square (1915), "the

had no

is

where they returned with what they had found

is

proclaimed to be the architectural-technical department,

it

into the

outside painting. "Malevich painted a black square. The

former studio, which the students

his special attention,

enter into the square of

but the rectangle of the painting's

life early,

continued to function as an experimental workshop, even

though

will

The young Vitebsk students came out

square of

true. Architecture

the Vitebsk studios, as a

in

cramped

arts,

it

must destroy

and only then

will

it

did

come

the

as

world.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Malevich, draft of a

letter to

Dutch

artists, 1921*

contrasting combinations of various forms."' 9 The course

October 1920, Unovis held a conference

stressed dynamics, which led to "further creative develop-

In

ment

where

which

in

the

field

of volumetric material Suprematism,

led to actual construction.

ing of the system of

Thus

development of

continues as discoveries

the

in

.

.

.

ends the follow-

creativity,

and

new

"In

ism, construction, in

which science, technology,

architecture, In

one

it

and painting

arises the idea of a

arts

must form

of his passionate Vitebsk declarations,

all

Malevich: "You

young

artists

will build

a

secret will be guessed by those

then you sal.

will

sign for a

who

will

new world

follow

stop being professionals and

The rectangle of

"Become

upon

his

us.

become

a painting's canvas will

be too

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

its

charge of fine

arts.

Lissitzky

headed to Moscow,

document

An

characteristic of the passing era

Communism, was

required for the trip

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the

war had not ended, even though peace had been

made

21

with a conviction worthy of

new

of military civil

their unity."

Builders" ("Stante stroiteliami"), Lissitzky called

students and

organ-

in

not knowing whether he would ever return to Vitebsk. official pass, a

systems." 20 Suprematism remained the path into the

unknown, the new.

Strzhemmsky was

Smolensk,

Malevich, Chashnik, Khidekel, and Lissitzky attended the

conference From Smolensk,

it

undiscovered

field of as yet

Vladislav

in

with Poland. "The holder depicted

graph, Lazar Markovich

Lissitzky,

is

in

the photo-

a professor at the

Vitebsk State Free Art Workshops, which

is

attested by the

signatures and attached seal." 26 In

Vitebsk,

life

went

on. There

were

most varied problems

And

discussions of the

univer-

studios, however, there

by the example of the

was

exhibitions in art.

and

Outside the

conflict after conflict. Inspired

Moscow

authorities, those in

67


Vitebsk began a planned attack on Unovis. By order of the

Committee

Vitebsk Provincial

Unovis, including Malevich,

of Labor, the artists of

were required

the design and decoration of the

to take part

rejected. Unovis's foes tried to "straighten out"

pedagogical work. Malevich boldly defended

CHFEM/nBM

he would believe that he

Vitebsk." 27 At a difficult artist

of the

"I've

been

new

his child,

but

"lost a lot [of time] in

moment, he even appealed

art to his eternal

in exile

long enough;

as an

opponent, Shterenberg, is

it

time for

me

to

work

in

you have not changed your mind about

the center,

if

appointing

me

head of the International Bureau

Narkompros] and offering Despite

its

and psychological overextension was evident.

his physical Later,

in

the third anniver-

The designs they proposed

sary of the October Revolution.

were

city for

this,

serious

me

a studio."

work continued

December 1920, the Unovis

[of Izo

28

in

Vitebsk.

In

studios published Malevich's

album Suprematizm: 34 risunka (Suprematism: 34 Drawings), a unique graphic work and methodological

yHOBMC BHTEECK

mo

manual, a collection of basic Suprematist compositions.

had been assumed that the preface would be written by Lissitzky.

COVER FOR KAZIMIR MALEVICH. SUPREMATISM 34 DRAWINGS (VITEBSK: UNOVIS, 1920)

It

At that time, a plan was also

collection of Malevich's texts in

been given to

Lissitzky so that

in

place to publish a

German; the

texts

had

he could familiarize himself

with them and eventually translate them, but a brief conflict arose

when

it

was thought

that Lissitzky had lost

Malevich's materials. Lissitzky's text for the Malevich

was awaited

patiently.

The end

result

is

album

known, however:

the teacher wrote the preface himself.

There are various possible answers to the question of

why

Lissitzky did

not write the

incredible busyness in is

VASILII

RAKITIN

more probable

Moscow

that he

was

text.

are

just

A

short-lived sulk or his

among

the least

too involved

in

likely.

It

preparing


an album of

his

came out

January 1921

in

to Malevich

Prouns, writing the text for

and wanted

wrote.

but

his

illusory.

came

Malevich

to

hopes of getting So were

collective

to stay

Moscow

his

own

in

(The album

even

connection

the country

and

in

Vitebsk," he

Vkhutemas were

a Russia-wide Unovis

would become

instructors of the

new

art

who

he hoped

throughout the

seemed

was

like a

daring and absurd challenge, for

becoming one with

already

a single party

a single ideology. is

only the superficial picture, however. Senkin

He

at a crossroads.

liked

what both

Lissitzky

toward

work.

Klutsis's

posvyashchenniya

Klutsis,

III

primarily

who, along with Naum

had taken part

Pevsner,

in

Vystavka

Kongressu Kominterna (Exhibition

Dedicated to the Third Congress of the Comintern), the

country. Malevich clearly underestimated the seriousness

legendary exhibition held on Tverskoi Boulevard

and significance of the events that occurred

was

after his

departure to the provinces from Moscow.

whom

were extremely

Moscow's young

active

had

artists,

and

influential

in

that

city.

is

lagging behind;

were perhaps

"The

it's still

chilled

a

Moscow

Creative

baby chick."

30

am

"I

building a

existed before," he wrote

in

new

reality that

was

1921,

in

upon never

was

January 1921. 32 Klutsis

looking forward to a Unovis exhibition

would

in

Moscow, but he

also waiting for an Inkhuk (Institute of Artistic Culture)

exhibition planned for spring 1922 (which never took

But

Malevich was displeased by their ineffectiveness ing the ideas of Unovis:

of

among

told Malevich that they

head Unovis's Creative Committee

following a path that touched only slightly

Suprematism.

and Senkm, both

Malevich's former students Klutsis

in assert-

Committee

The Muscovites

by the ban by Izo Narkompros on the

place). His

work was appreciated equally by the Vitebsk

and by

artists

artists

Constructivists.

The

who

declared themselves to be

"inertia" of Unovis's

Moscow

Creative

Committee, then, was rather a question of creative

differ-

magazine Vestnik ispolkoma Moskovskikh Vysshikh

ences. Klutsis could not understand the philosophical

Gosudartsvennykh Masterskikh

of the Executive

ambitions of Suprematism, the ever-increasing interest

Studios), prepared

artistic

{Bulletin

Committee of the Moscow Higher State in

the

fall

of

1920 on the

initiative

of Senkin, a former

secretary of the All-Russian Central at Izo

the

Committee

Narkompros. The magazine had offered

artists

group of

Obmokhu

of Students its

pages to

and, naturally, to Unovis.

ideology

Lissitzky

in

his desire to bring

make

Vitebsk.

things to technological perfection, to

a kind of artistic design ready, in theory, for technical

realization. This

was not

a Utopian aspiration but invention,

arising at the intersection of artistic

compromising positions of the department, which attacked

tion. Lissitzky,

almost

ing a

new

already

ritually.

"party

3'

Senkin pushed for the idea of form-

in art,"

forgetting that he and Klutsis had

become members

of the Bolshevik Party.

A

party,

in

appreciated Klutsis right away. He understood

Malevich harshly criticized what he believed were the

Tatlin

was

and Aleksandr

Rodchenko were doing, but he was oriented

Gabo and

from the Vitebsk group and former students

from the Second State Free Art Workshops,

in art,

This

at every opportunity,

studio at

hopes of creating

his

it.

his

presence and support

his

Moscow. "You're not meant 29

sensed

Lissitzky

)

who had

and technical imagina-

the amazing

ability to

incorporate

the most varied things into his work without eclecticism,

was broader and was always

deeper, however. The architect

correcting the enthusiasms of the

69

in

him

artist.

He


was

very attentive to

how

the

new

architects understood

form, or rather, wanted to understand that Lissitzky

first

came

it.

It

was

at this

time

into contact with Nikolai Ladovsky,

the future leader and theoretician of Asnova (Association of

New

second

Architects), with

which

half of the 1920s.

of formalism

was some

in

Lissitzky

Asnova

tied the

the

understanding

interest in bringing Lissitzky to the

Vkhutemas, not as

but as a person from the realm of

Lissitzky

in

architecture to artistic rationalism. There

of architecture at

was planning

department

There was talk about

art.

to give a lecture on that topic at

Inkhuk. For the time being, however, he taught drafting to

work

closely the

were very

who A

still

Lissitzky

of the Constructivists

banner of

hidden but

the

artists

real divide

harshly against both groups

who

Among

was forming between

who

in

Lissitzky

Lissitzky

eyes to the

wanted

new

[1919]).

breeds persistent stereotypes, and anyone

Some time realize

Polemic

who had

studied

Rodchenko exemplified the

understanding of nonfigurative later, Lissitzky

would

recall

how much had been done

incor-

art.

the Vitebsk days

during that time,

and how many future developments had been foretold there.

He began

in parallel in

to feel that Constructivism

Vitebsk and Moscow, before

VASILII

RAKITIN

differ-

of

in

the West for

some time

before

to be

Russian

in

the West

which

art,

in

in

order to open

its

Germany was

changed the perception. Malevich supported

cardinally

Lissitzky in his desire to

Unovis would have a This

was

go away

reliable

for

two

years.

particularly necessary given that the first

big exhibition of Russian

abroad. Lissitzky worked house, had

many

friends in

At

least

emissary and propagandizer.

group was

Modern

in

the Comintern publishing

in

Communist

Germany.

A

better

art

cultural circles,

ambassador

and

for

Unovis could not have been imagined.

exhibitions with paint-

white Suprematism with Black on Black

and

work was

of Puni and Aleksandr Arkhipenko had not

arrival in Berlin

Denmark

that

Vitebsk.

in

being able to answer that question.

We know that

knew

its

Moscow. What kind

in

would work

Aleksandr Vesnin, and Rodchenko (who had responded to

rect, superficial

or

Constructivism were the Muscovites talking about?

ings under the sign of Suprematism â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Liubov Popova,

with Malevich

Moscow

in

on the whole the path of

ent from that taken

had even studied

called themselves

the Industrial Constructivists were

had recently appeared

tribune, but

negotiating the

Industrial Constructivism.

and Malevich and Unovis. Malevich spoke out

Constructivists. artists

watched

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; two groups who

Obmokhu and

different in their goals,

raised the

not have been understood either

perceived through the prism of Kandinsky and Chagall. The

architecture.

electrical-engineering students there. Lissitzky

had emerged. But he would

Of course, Unovis had Chashnik's design for the Smolensk

a practicing architect,

on monumental painting and

a course

would work

Constructivist theater design

had appeared

Tatlin's

tower and

in

Klutsis traveled

1921, but

"revolution" he

homeland

we do

on Comintern business

not

was planning

know what

to organize

of Hans Christian Andersen.

surmise. There

were

also the wishes

from Unovis: to defend the group's in

in

We

and

to

kind of

the peaceful

can only

instructions

interests in the

particular at the first exhibition of Russian art

Germany, Erste russische Kunstausstellung

(First

West,

in

Russian

Art Exhibition), to be held at the Galerie van Diemen, Berlin, in

1922.

Plans for the exhibition had

been discussed as

early as


was slow and Malevich and

spring 1921, but preparation

many

by the time sides

had

for

opened

it

their

commercial risk,

had already

of his students

own

The

interests to consider.

business

its

of the following year. All

in late fall

interests:

The German

until that

authorities

effect of the exhibition;

Vitebsk for Petrograd

left

It

was

of course,

sale of

the

be

important. Far from

money on

were to take in

If

still

the

effect

believed

in

the victory of world

place, however,

it

would come

Germany.

political success, artists,

in

had been placed

in

overall,

but the

works from Petrograd had been curated by Natan Altman. Shterenberg's assistant

young

artist

of Georgi Yakolov.

dropped

in

in clerical

from Obmokhu,

He had made an from

his

matters had been a

Nikolai Denisovsky, a student

From time to time, Gabo and

at the gallery while the

Malevich was kept abreast of

all

Lissitzky

show was being

developments by

ideological decision to

1920 solo

formally. There

made

show

set up.

Lissitzky.

in

in

the catalogue. They were more than noticed,

Prouns)

was

made

indubitable. But

clear.

Malevich's

ment

But

it

was

There were

born

in

just

still

(1915;

page

126),

which

house

in

at the time

was hang-

Petrograd. 34 There

would have been no problem getting

it

for the

show, but

— that

clearly as a special

move-

an exhibition and there would be others.

the bowels of the International Bureau of Izo a

Party-Comintern bosses.

36

propaganda

tool by influ-

began publishing

Lissitzky

the magazine Veshch/Gegenstand/Objet (Object) together

with the writer

Ilia

here the idea that

Ehrenburg.

"We

cation of an international journal of

Veshch was art,

but the art

have

was born long ago

at last realized

Russia

in

modern

— the

art."

not merely another magazine of

megaphone through which

the European intellectual

ing at Mikhail Matiushm's

request

plans for an international art magazine,

and White Square (1918).

Red Square

what was Unovis? That was

mam

Narkompros and supported as ential

as that of the

(just

— was not met.

toward

he did not include

ask you to

were methodological drawings on Cubism

118), Black Circle (1915), Black Cruciform Planes (1915), Interestingly,

I

the Vitebsk studios. Malevich's works were

presented

four works

Square (1915; page

exhibition: Black

this

idealistic in art,

they intrigued people; their influence

many

ones from Petrograd. 33 Shterenberg

charge of the exhibition

"Being

Suprematism and Unovis appear

the end, pleased by the exhibition's

but he noted the displeasure of

especially the

art.

Was

was dubious; the Suprematists were

The works of Malevich and Unovis looked good,

not

The People's Commissar of Education, Anatoly Lunacharsky, was,

group of works be

toward me, too." 35

idealistic

The Soviet authori-

Bolsheviks

all

final victory of their revolution.

revolution

quasi-nationalist? That

postwar Germany

to earn

this

the catalogue would not have any essays or mani-

if

dealing only with

could not afford

The

to universal Unovis.

Black Cruciform Planes and nothing

— no mysticism. What should

were counting on the diplomatic

would have preferred

through revolution

else

titled

festos? "Suprematism 1913 Russia."

in classical art.

works from the show, but the propaganda

was too

was

black cross

called,

taking a certain

time had been

to overlook even revolutionary Russia. ties,

had

gallery, naturally,

Red Square was not important

could be expressed.

who

Its

a

new

publi-

37

Modern

attitude

reader and follower

believed

in

new

art

was

and the

humanistic transformation of the world. Veshch was to be a discussion club,

where answers

questions could be found.

to those overly general

Many people

71

in

Moscow and


Petrograd could not understand this approach. Lissitzky a certain

embarrassment regarding

felt

Vitebsk colleagues

his

and Malevich: Veshch was immediately regarded as an international review

and not as

a conduit for Suprematist

propaganda. Suprematism had a but

nal,

it

was presented not

was

as a springboard to the

one of the components of the new.

future, but simply as Lissitzky

living in a

new

Common

artistic climate.

terms had a different meaning for him than for colleagues

Moscow and

in

mend, perhaps

the jour-

visible place in

Petrograd.

unsurprisingly, the

De

his

He could recomStijl

rationalist

Theo

van Doesburg as a Suprematist, but more unexpected was his revision of

bly Lissitzky

different

the concept of Constructivism.

who was

the

It

was proba-

to suggest uniting the

first

examples of the new

style that

various countries under that term.

had emerged

Germany, many

In

understood almost instantly that Constructivism had

from mysterious revolutionary

in

Russia.

The idea of

come

a

Constructivist International arose (substituted, by Lissitzky, for Malevich's idea of a universal Unovis).

was

short-lived, however. Yesterday's Dadaists

respectable Bauhaus professors, COVER FOR VESHCH/GEGENSTAND/OBJET NO

3

(MAY 1922)

The idea

Expressionism, the

they

all

had

their

new

own

De

objectivity,

Stijl

— now — rejected

masters

and Art Deco, but

point of view regarding

what

art

should be.

Malevich

was known

in

innovative circles (Kurt

Schwitters, for example, devoted

multiobject part

due to

Merzbau Lissitzky,

to him).

He was simply

a master

who

art:

form, volume, and plane to be geometric

RAKITIN

in his

great

art

and mysterious, mystic and revolu-

geometry as the language of Modern

VASILII

in

one of the myths of the new

attractive, frightening,

tionary. Mystic?

one of the grottoes

He was becoming,

revealed

"We want in its

every

economic


program

for the Vitebsk studios

had

Adolph Benet, one of the organizers of the

First

necessity," the

proclaimed. 38

German Art

Universal

Leningrad, and Saratov Lissitzky

shown

Exhibition, in

1924-25, and

and Sophie Kuppers, noted "the

much

to familiarize

artist

a

Moscow,

good

working

friend of

striking influence

and that

... of the Russian Constructivists"

Russian Constructive

new

in

"Lissitzky, a

Germany, has done

in

Germans with the achievements

of the

Russian art." 39

International congresses of artists

Dusseldorf

in

1922 showed the

in

Weimar and

illusoriness of trying to

create a Constructive International. The schism

not only on well. Laszlo

Moholy-Nagy, accustomed to being on the

edge

cutting

be

in

sociopolitical positions as

know what he would

of art fashion, did not

the coming season

something

but on

was based

artistic issues,

else.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Suprematist, Constructive, or

Hungarian

artists

and theoreticians were

the most receptive to the ideas coming out of Russia. But leftists

of

stripes,

all

Communist

Bella

whether the sal socialism,

from the fanatic Hungarian

Witz to Walter Gropius, had to wonder

art called

Constructive was the

as Boris Arvatov

and

Brik,

art of univer-

the theoreticians of PAGE FROM

Moscow's

Industrial Constructivism, maintained, or

whether

was simply an

it

object of aesthetics from the era

of the unfolding industrial-scientific revolution? Vladimir

Mayakovsky, agitating for the triumph of Communist ideas, boldly asserted the priority of

over

its

Western counterpart. For

something resembling Vkhutemas. This Lissitzky.

new

Bolshevik nationalism

Moscow

Moscow

Brik,

innovation

the Bauhaus

was

40

was profoundly

alien to

Constructivism, which he had been

regarding with growing interest,

was

EL LISSITZKY.

TWO SQUARES

diluted by the general

73

(BERLIN

SUPREMATIST STORY OF

SKIFY. 1922)


European understanding of Constructivism, as was Suprematism. Moholy-Nagy suspected that the people the

Moscow group

but

it

was

thought

Lef

differently

Lissitzky's interpretation that

from

in

Lissitzky,

would become the

accepted one for many years. Indeed, at Konstruktivisten

shown

(Constructivists), a large exhibition

Basel

in

at the Kunsthalle

1937, works by Lissitzky and Malevich, Mondrian

and Rodchenko, Kandinsky and Schwitters were

put

all

under the banner of Constructivism. Malevich and

Moscow

his

students did not accept either

much

Constructivism or

of Western European

Constructivism. Malevich tried to see

Constructivism

movements

the historical context of changes

in

"Constructivism

Moscow

one

is

of the

beginning

in art,

phenomena its

in art.

of painting

development

in

Russia,

during the years of active revolution, headed by a group of

young

artists

and poets. The true

belief of Constructivism

is

that an artwork must be economical, expedient, devoid of aestheticism. Constructivism

form and construction

and

things.

Much

from Cubism."

4

'

in all

in its

The

is all

about seeking uses for

materials, utilitarian objects,

form and construction

last

sentence

is

perfected stage of development than

is

borrowed

quite remarkable,

suggesting that Constructivism was at an

EL LISSITZKY.

its

earlier, less

was Suprematism.

POSTER FOR USSR RUSSISCHE AUSSTELLUNG,

ZURICH, 1929

Lissitzky

had

left

the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist

Republic (RSFSR), but he returned to a different country, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), notion of world revolution left

feeling that he

was

a

was being

member

who

Petrograd. Lissitzky had

VASILII RAKITIN

1925. The

He had

of Unovis, but for about

eighteen months he had sent no news to Vitebsk colleagues

in

forgotten.

his

former

had followed Malevich to

begun

to

work on

a different


had accepted

plane. Malevich

accompli, and

Lissitzky,

had continued to respond to

whether

related to a

this

despite his all

change

as a

illness,

of Malevich's requests,

package or to the organization of

sale in the

West. The two discussed

happened

that three Suprematist

Leningrad to be

shown

Venice Biennale

in

how

it

works chosen

in

organizing exhibitions of

Lissitzky's

in

help

his

in

work by Malevich and Ginkhuk

the

in

West. He didn't think Russia would offer him the same opportunities for his work, especially

may have been

in

publishing. Lissitzky

a turncoat, a constructor assembler

same company

practically in the

Aleksei Gan, but assistant?

where

else could

as

who

Rodchenko and

he find such a

loyal

The main connection between the two

artists

remained the idea of publishing a book of Malevich's writings

in

and polemical

from Malevich's philosophical, texts, a

Western

reader.

but they

still

The

worked

ing, all-destroying

like

In

clarity

much

alien to him,

magic incantations; overwhelm-

new

Lydia Zharova,

members

of

philoso-

an era that valued expediency, functionality, and

not a simple task to explain it;

finally, Lissitzky's

Obmokhu

followers of Malevich of Unovis

it

artisticIt

was

and to write commentary

approach was to simplify and

consciously straighten out the ideas.

In

doing

so,

he

began. 42

first

and

1920s

half of the

in

Moscow

the

is

an

art culture.

brilliant inventor,

He brought

and

There

world,

art

he created a

West and

— and

in

in

new

Aleksandr

— former and Senkin — former

Nikolai Prusakov Klutsis

Moscow

the unsuccessful

iteration

— to work on the USSR pavilion for Pressa

(International Press Exhibition)

Everything Lissitzky took on

was the European The idea

public,

Cologne

in

was

whom

in

1928.

a success, for his audience

he understood.

was

of creating a pure, plastic architecture

of the basic tenets

in

the work of the Suprematists

united around Malevich. Lissitzky

was planning

to

enter into public discussion with Malevich on the subject. His

concept of architecture differed strongly from that

presented

Malevich's writings. For Malevich, Western

in

was mediocre

to understand.

the

Naumov,

who

and

design of the 1920s, he created a completely

the Bauhaus,

was not easy

in

art

style of exhibition design.

one

"A.[rt]

printing shop. Using the experience of the

architecture,

reduced to elementarism, Malevich's global

new

that did not suit him

argument with Malevich. He

of the writing

philosophical project

about

were

energy came from them. His translation

of the texts turned into an

believed that

theoretical,

book that would be accessible to the

texts irritated him,

work

famous 1925 essay

the

in

essence an ode to the black square, the

in

but, a sober practitioner

the West. Lissitzky set himself an incredibly complex

task: to create,

phy.

was much

Moscow

Malevich suggested to Lissitzky that he stay

Lissitzky's is

immutable and organic part of European

the cata-

Germany.

was

Pangeometry"

point at which the

at the Russian pavilion of the

1924 had been included

geometrism to the forefront as

discoveries, bringing

days of Unovis. a

could have

logue but not exhibited. Lissitzky also offered

in

accented the general importance of Malevich's formal

fait

own work and

which he associated with Le Corbusier and

was too

utilitarian,

devoid of harmony and

purity (understood by Malevich as Platonic perfection). In

these arguments, architecture of specific works by architecture

We

in

Modern

discussed both

and

in

in

terms

terms of

general.

do not know the

Lissitzky

was

architects

details of the break

and Malevich, which took place

75

between

after their

first


sentimental meeting

Germany

Moscow

to

Leningrad on the

in in

way from

NOTES

was based on

1927, but the break

principles.

They ran

VOKS

each other again at

into

(All-

Countries)

in

Leningrad

in

1930, and

it

was

as

if

Museum, Amsterdam, published

the brochure Pisma Kazimiru

in

nothing

had ever happened, as though they were mere acquain-

1924, The Foundation

9.

Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga, Stedelijk

Union Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign

Kazimir Malevich,

letter to

El Lissitzky,

1.

September

Malevichu, El Ussttskomu,

Puninu

Nikolaiu

i

10-kh godov, ed Aleksandra

s

Shatskikh and

L

Zykov (Moscow:

Pinakoteka, 2000).

tances. Lissitzky could not understand

why

Malevich Letters

was

painting again, and his architektons remained alien

from the Foundation Cultural

Center Khardzhiev-Chaga have been published

to him.

He

did not see

in

them the embryo of

future devel-

Russian by

in

V kruge malevicha

opments

in

world architecture. The

of post-Suprematism, which

colorful,

combined the

joyous world

Posledovateli v

godov. exh

icon with

was opposed

to the prosaic world of

utili-

Menshova

Soratniki Ucheniki

floss/7

1920- 1950-kh Petersburg: State

cat. (St

sebe Sovremenniki o Maleviche Pisma.

Dokumenty Vospominaniia.

tarianism, but Malevich's architektons

awaited their hour. object from them,

If

it

form, harmonic and

seemed

one were to make

to have

in

(1999),

vol. 5

Museum, 2000), and Malevich o

Russian

Impressionism,

I

the journal Experiment,

vols

compiled by

,

Irina

Kntika, 2

Vakar and Tatiana

Mikhienko (Moscow: RA, 2003), among

a Suprematist

would be Manhattan, only light.

in

an

ideal

other publications (For this latter publication, the texts

were compared with

photocopies of the originals

in

order to

avoid the inevitable minor variations their transcription, cies in the

and

in

certain inaccura-

commentaries of the two

earlier publications

were

corrected.)

Translated from the Russian by Antonina W. Bouis. 2

"Information on the Book

Lissitzky,

Artist's

Work: Replies to a Question-

naire," in Sophie Lissitzky-Kuppers, El Lissitzky: Life, Letters, Texts

Conn

New

(Greenwich,

York Graphic Society,

Ltd.,

1968). 3

Malevich, letter to

Lissitzky,

June 17, 153

1924, Experiment, vol 5 (1999), p

4 Malevich,

letter to

Mikhail Matiushin,

January 21, 1920, Manuscript Division, State Tretiakov Gallery,

no

5. In

Moscow,

25,

f

26

9, p.

the spring of 1919, Malevich had

written to the Collegium of Fine Arts,

demanding his

that they annul the sale of

works to the Museum of

Culture.

The

published

in

letter

is

in

my

Painterly

archive;

Andrei Nakov, Kazimir

Malewics: Catalogue raisonne (Pans:

Adam

Biro,

2002), p 25.

Malevich's conflicts with

found also

in

a letter

An echo

of

Kandmsky

is

from Malevich to

David Shterenberg, February 16, 1921

"Kandmsky and company had locked my sguare

VASILII

RAKITIN

in

the Shisselburg Fortress" (M.

P.


1

khudozhmk [Moscow

Lazarev, David Shterenberg:

vremia: put khudozhnika

i

Puninu Malevich and Shterenberg

discussed

is

David Shterenberg (see n

Lissitzky.

in

34 There are two versions of ing This particular version,

in

private collection,

for Unovis Studios,

,

p

a

in

one included is

in

reproduced

of this publication letter to

Malevich,

in

1

Lazarev, David Shterenberg,

21 Nina Kogan, "For the Unovis

36 The idea

suggests the strong, almost Exhibition," typescript

for a

magazine was

1922), private

(

hypnotic influence Malevich had on him

supported

of

first

158, 160.

pp

not typical of

is

this paint-

now

p 7

35 Shterenberg, Ibid

the

is

the current exhibition and

13

on page 126

Program

19

Nikolaiu

i

5)

20 This statement, which

1924.

8,

W-kh godov. p

s

6 The history of the conflict between

Lazarev,

Lissitzky.

Pisma Kazimiru

Malevich, letter to

18

December

Malevichu, El Lissitskomu,

158)

Galaktika, 1992], p

7.

"

1

G

by

all

who

Zinoviev,

archive.

determined

at this time

22. 8.

El Lissitzky,

"Stantestroiteliami,"

in

political line.

great part Comintern's

During Georg Grosz's

visit

Malevich, letter to Nikolai Punin, typescript draft (1920), private archive,

October

1920,

2,

in

Pisma Kazimiru p.

Malevichu, El Lissitskomu.

i

10-kh godov,

s

p.

30

in Vasilii Rakitin,

in

Almanakh

Manuscript Division. State

1,

Moscow,

Tretiakov Gallery,

9 Quoted

included

ability of

he spoke of the

desir-

publishing a progressive art

Nikolaiu

Unovis No.

Puninu

was

This text

1

to Soviet Russia,

76,

f.

no 9

Der biblische

Anarchist Kasimir Malewitsch

kommen-

23

Lissitzky.

magazine with the Comintern's

editorial

staff in Berlin or Pans; Grosz, Ein kleines

la

und grosses Nein (Hamburg,

p.

170

1955),

"Proun," typescript of a

lecture delivered at Inkhuk, tiert

seine Predigt "Von

Systemen

den neuen

September 23, 1921, private

archive, p. 4.

37

recipient,

Suetin, Tshchaschnik, exh. cat. (Cologne:

24

Galene Gmurzynska, 1992), p 249

(Berlin, 1923), p. 11.

10 Suprematism: Study for a Curtain,

25. Malevich, draft for

1919 Paper, gouache, watercolor, and

Dutch

pencil.

45

Artists"

Ivan Gavns, Izobrazitelnoe iskusstvo

"A

Letter to the

(September

7,

1921),

The

Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-

Chaga,

Stedelijk

Museum, Amsterdam.

26 The Foundation Cultural Center Amsterdam.

Molok, "Veshch kak veshch. na iazyke

Vasiln Rakitin, Nikolai

p.

Mikhailovich Suetin (Moscow: RA. 1998) Ilia

Chashnik: Khudozhnik novogo

17, 1924, Experiment, vol. 5 (1999),

153.

28 Malevich,

letter to

David

Shterenberg, December

1

1.

1920,

in

Lazarev, David Shterenberg, p. 158

RGALI, Moscow,

no 845.

f

680, op

29

April

1

1,

1920.

in

tomakh,

vol

3

(Moscow.

Kazimir

30 Malevich, undated Gileia,

2000).

for

Unovis Studios, Vitebsk,

and Leningrad, 1924), pp

13, 15

Brik

Petersburg, p

Committee

1

The

of

letter,

Galene van Diemen,

then written

collectively

private

1

down and developed by

is

going on

in

the

greatest

power

is

not

article

"Dom

in

paintings

about

"

Brik

his visit to the

Ogonek.

stroitelstva."

no 48(1923).

State Art

(October

3,

1920),

the Documents section of this publica-

and tion

V Kulagma, archive, Moscow

41

Malevich, typescript, n.d

.

private

archive Similar theoretical conclusions

were made at Ginkhuk regarding other movements in Modern art

32. Gustav Klutsis, letter to

Vera Ermolaeva

January 10-aja Gos. Vystavka. i

Berlin. In his article

1923, Mayakovsky wrote that "you

cannot judge what

wrote a small

Moscow

Workshops," no in

program was created

attended

the Erste russische Kunstausstellung,

RSFSR from such an exhibition Our

Moscow.

manuscript and typescript (1919-21), private archive, St

v sovremen-

(Moscow

40 8oth Mayakovsky and

Bauhaus,

Program

iskusstve,

v Berline." Krasnaia niva, January 19,

malevicha.

See "Bulletin of the Executive

31

16.

non germanskom

piati

archive,

tvorcesto

V kruge

1920- 1950-kh godov

p 34 15

in

Soratniki. Ucheniki. Posledovateli v Rossii

Malevich Sobranie sochinenii v

for Unovis Studios

Malevich,

Lissitzky, letter to

January 10. 1921, 14 Malevich, letter to Mikhail

Gershenzon,

art

(1999).

"Vystavka izobrazitelnogo iskusstva SSSR

1,

353

p.

no 3-4

39 Adolph Benet, Techenua

letter to Lissitzky,

vremeni (Moscow: RA, 2000) 13

Russian-German

issue dedicated to

38 Program

27 Malevich,

polemika

ill

grafiki," Pinakoteka, special

169.

June

and

Veshch, see Yu

historical analysis of

Khardzhiev-Chaga, Stedelijk Museum,

171

See

the idea of

an idea that was never realized For a

ties,

g Vitebshchyna Neperiodicheskii sbornik Vitebskogo okruzhnogo tovarishchestva

12.

private archive In

doing a special Russian edition of Veshch,

State Tretiakov

kraevedeniia (Vitebsk, 1928), pp

March 1922,

Sovremennaia zhivopis

Ivan Puni.

this letter, Lissitzky discusses

Moscow.

Gallery.

1

cm

62 5

x

to an unidentified

Lissitzky, letter

der Kunst": Malewitsch,

in

Bespredmetnoe

Suprematizm {Tenth State

6, 1921, private

33 See A.

V

42 in

"A

Lissitzky,

Letters, Texts,

Exhibition Nonobjective Creativity

and

Suprematism), Moscow, 1919

Artists in Berlin,"

(1927); in the

Ogonek, no. 30

Documents

[rt]

and Pangeometry,

Lissitzky-Kuppers, El Lissitzky

Lunacharsky, "Russian

Life,

pp 348-54

section of

this publication.

17

Program

for

Unovis Studios, p

3.

77


MALEVICH

IN HIS

"EXPERIMENTAL LABORATORY" AT

THE STATE RUSSIAN MUSEUM, LENINGRAD, CA State Russian

Museum,

St

Petersburg

1932


> â&#x20AC;&#x201D;I

> > I 7S

o

THE SUPREMATIST COLUMN â&#x20AC;&#x201D; A MONUMENT TO NONOBJECTIVE ART Most

of Kazimir Malevich's architektons

have not survived. For previously This

is all

known

a

the recovery of an architekton

only through photographs

as

it

form emblematic of Malevich's

Suprematism began

in

abandoned painting

in

Model (1927;

work

in

three-dimensional

the late 1910s and early 1920s, favor of research

in

Suprematism

new

architecture

in

architectural juncture

his

booklet

{Suprematism: 34 Drawings, 1920),

Suprematism,

become

when

is

its

1

In his

limits;

Suprematism,

in

for,

the development

out of the question; is

he

and teach-

34

risunka

which he declared that

obsolete, and the painter himself

of the past."

reached

painting

in

Suprematizm: in

col-

work.

late architectural

Malevich announced, and provided the theoretical basis

the beginning of a of

remarkable event.

a

appears to be the only surviving architekton

Malevich's theoretical and practical

ing.

is

the more true of Suprematist Architectural

page 209),

umn,

this reason,

and architectonic models

painting

"in

has

a preconceived notion

White on White works of 1917-18, painting a

different

spatial

form opened up, and

search of an ultimate nonobjectivity, entered the

sphere of architecture. In

the 1920s, Malevich's interpretation of Suprematism as one of

the systems of European architecture gradually changed.

79

He


began to regard

it

as a scientific

method containing the

Suprematist paintings." 5 Malevich, however, recognized the use of Suprematism

"form-creating" potential for the establishment of a universal plastic language:

method

"Suprematism

new

only a

is

of knowledge, the content of which

will

be

in

decorating the "space of

(porcelain, textiles, interior design,

differ-

ent sensations," he wrote to Konstantin Rozhdestvensky

in

In

1929, at

his solo exhibition at

Moscow, he

patiently,

life"

monuments, and so

the State Tretiakov Gallery,

and without any sense of

irony,

1927; as a "Weltanschauung and 'world-construction,'"

explained to the gallery workers that "an architekton

Suprematism would become the

only a composition of stereometric figures.

basis of a general style for

the age, while the Suprematist element that transmitted

on the plane of the canvas would

"the sensation of art"

become an

element and formula for a new

architectural

architectural system. 2

In his

works of the

theoretical

1920s, Malevich accentuated the organic

Suprematist architecture and

link

Art

and the sensation of the painterly pointed to the form of the

new

architecture."

teacher's theory,

sensation

3

Rozhdestvensky,

emphasized that the

in

was the most important aspect

architecture

and

developing

his

It

in

if

it

is

a thing of

is

used to decorate

is

a

the middle of a square, suitably

can serve as a base for a statue or a monu-

if

a bird

does

its

business on top of

it,

he also

the 1920s, Malevich regarded architecture as equiva-

In

lent to

Modern

art,

as he believed that the goal of

Suprematist architecture-architecture style-was to re-create the world

"cosmic"

spatial

enlarged.

ment; and

New

he has no objection

use. But

room, or placed

It

doesn't mind." 6

between

"Contemporary

art:

no

on).

of Suprematist

laws of the

new

environment

painting:

in

art.

He dreamed

in

the grand

in

accordance with the

of a global Suprematist

which everything would be subordinate to

the Suprematist canon: "All things, our entire world, must In

the spiritual sense, Suprematist painting and Suprematist archi-

tecture

are

architecture

the

linked

is

Sometimes the

same.

to

the

Suprematism to axonometry

birth

attempts

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but that

transfer

to

how

is

Suprematist

of

But prouns are not Suprematist architecture.

Prouns lack what filled

is

most important

with the dynamic energy of the

life

in

painterly

prouns were born.

Not

at

be arrayed

Suprematist-like

heavy; they can

mounted on

Malevich's early

Suprematism began

material

be fashioned out of plywood, painted, and

do not radiate

spatial energy.

independent of any

Prouns

is

social or

first

"the

must 7

three-dimensional

architektons date from his time at Ginkhuk (State

first

economic

Kallai,

where,

in

1

923,

three-dimensional [objects] were realized." 8

Suprematism became paramount

at Ginkhuk,

this project

including Nikolai Suetin,

Chashnik, and Lazar Khidekel.

Ilia

with

his students,

struc-

the

and ture,

fall

of 1925, a laboratory of Suprematist architec-

known

as the laboratory of the "Suprematist Order"

"camouflaged

and headed by

TATIANA MIKHIENKO

of harmony."

where Malevich worked on

In

the clever definition of Ernst

new form

at the Vitebsk Popular Art School, but

nonfunctional by

tures. Architektons transmit a purely plastic sensation are, in

signs; in short, everything

Institute of Artistic Culture), Leningrad,

Architectural

Malevich's Suprematist architecture is

in

fabrics, wallpaper,

and

lack the Suprematist disposition. 4

design and

work

i.e.,

of the cosmos. They only

elements-but they are

a wall, but they

shop

have Suprematist designs as a

the contain

Suprematist forms:

pots, plates, furniture,

all!

Suprematism: space

in

Suetin,

was

created at Ginkhuk. The


Suprematists concerned themselves with "architecture as

an its

form" and the revelation of the absolute laws of

artistic

construction, as

opposed

to the utilitarian architectural

conception of the Constructivists. Malevich's architectural designs and architektons were

Ginkhuk

tion at

in

May 1924 and

Modern

Exhibition of

first

in

Warsaw

for the laws

governing the Suprematist three-dimensional "formcreation" while simultaneously working with three-

dimensional models and planes. His planits

drawings floating

in

—axonometric

the space of three-dimensional

Suprematist models that resemble horizontal architektons

—did not precede the

contemporaneous

first

architektons, but

to them. Their

titles,

acter of Malevich's architectural conception.

"cosmic" char-

The

contrasting "energy of the black and the white" in

them by the

and uncolored color

is

ter

is

light planes. In

like

its

planes;

in this

in

years of his

Museum,

Leningrad.

were mostly

In

diffu-

the second half of the

tendencies appeared. As he became fascinated

see the beginning of a

new

move toward new

classical spirit"

classical architecture,"

wrote of Suprematist architecture

in

1927'°

he

— he began to

principles of building architektons.

forms became predominant, leading to the

architekton column, which had

more ornamentation. In

horizontal,

dynamism and the

with the prospect of a "rebirth of the

Vertical

1932 and

Malevich worked on

life,

transmitting a sense of stasis or

"I

In

the experimental laboratory of the State

Malevich's early architektons

new

9

It

was

motifs and

a distinct point of departure.

Malevich's conception, the

programmatic meaning

monument

column

carried within

itself

a

closely linked to the creation of the

"Suprematist Order."

Suprematist Architectural Model dates from

is

juxtaposition of densely shaded

It

this period.

has a heavy quadrangular base, which contrasts sharply

the architekton, the role of

reduced to the symbolic square,

applied to

were

such as Future

Planits for Earthlings, point to the timeless,

conveyed

Russian

1920s,

1923 and 1924, Malevich searched

last

— was being addressed.

sion or concentration of weight.

in

February-March 1926. In

1933, the

architektons

presented at an exhibi-

at the International

Architecture

ornamentation"

cross, or circle

case, the whiteness of the plas-

the white background of a Suprematist painting,

which corresponds, more than anything

else, to

the

nonobjective character of the architektons. After the closing of Ginkhuk, Malevich continued his architectural activities at in

Leningrad,

Khidekel,

now of

V.

where

his

Gill

(State Institute of Art History)

former students Suetin, Chashnik,

Vorobiev, and the architect Aleksandr Nikolsky

taught and where the issue of the "color-decoration

new

architectural constructions, residential areas,

and squares"

in particular,

"three- dimensional spatial MALEVICH'S INSTALLATION AT THE RETROSPi EXHIBITION Of

WOKKS Of

THE INSTITUTE Of ARTISTIC

CULTURE fOR THE SCHOLASTIC YEAR 192S-I926.

GINKHUK. LENINGRAD. JUNE 1926 Slate Russian

81

Museum.

St

Petersburg


with

its

many

and

light

fragile

column. The

latter

made up

is

of

narrow, elongated shapes placed on the basic struc-

ture to form

asymmetrical

thin,

profiles.

By fragmenting

po priobreteniyam proizvedeniy

Komissii

iskusstva za

1927-1928

(Exhibition of Acquisitions of

Works by Persons Working

in

the Fine Arts in 1927-1928),

the single plaster mass, they visually deprive the material of

which took place

weight and

November-December 1928. The

cal

The

density.

elements

in

shift in

the coupling of small

the upper part, which creates a rhythmic

pause, seems to delineate a capital. The

appeared

gave

it

at the Tretiakov Gallery in

museum. Two

to the

verti-

years

work

1928, after the

later,

the

artist

museum

925-26).

11

In

It

1965, both works were transferred to

was thought

tons had been

was returned

A phased

lost,

in

Model

1993.

several years ago,' 3 based

on

from the Tretiakov Gallery archives 14 as well as other

Moscow

2002, the

Awakumov completed

a three-dimensional

model of the work. The

ton

was then dismantled.

It

1

Acquired

as early as the

928

S.,

list

1927-1928." The

in

summer

few months

of 1928, a

of works

the exhibition room of Vkhutein

in

Institute):

"No. 48, Malevich,

in

two

boxes."' 6 According to records, the

was bought

for

600

and allocated to the Tretiakov The architekton received arrival at

present

its

the Tretiakov Gallery. 18

documents,

is

it

rubles

December 1928

in

Gallery. 17

In

name

after

its

the purchasing commis-

referred to as "Suprematist

architek-

and 16.5 x 9 x 9 cm)

model" or

"architectural maquette."

inventory book,

it is

to the entry

note

bled."

is

a

In

the museum's

name, and next

also referred to by this in pencil:

"the sculpture

is

disassem-

The Tretiakov Gallery never exhibited the architekton,

and seventy-nine small fragments (twenty-one of them

not even at a solo exhibition of Malevich's work that

3-5 cm

opened

in size;

the remainder less than 3 cm). The total

height of the three large parts

is

(judging from the photograph)

what

less;

76.5 cm, and the

was 10 cm

it

base

high or some-

thus the total height of the architekton

86.5 cm, making

lost

is

about

the tallest of the vertical architektons

that have been reconstructed.

15

Suprematist Architectural Model

mentioned

in

catalogue to Vystavka priobreteniy Gosvdarstvennoi

TATIANA MIKHIENKO

the

in

November 1929,

at

which four large and

twenty-two small architektons brought from Leningrad

were

exhibited.

The explanation

for this can

"report on the discovery of inadequacy Tretiakov Gallery,

the is

K.

'Suprematist Architekton,' plaster. Inventory no. 155.

Dismantled,

sion's

consists of three plaster prisms

(30.5 x 7 x 7 cm; 29.5 x 7 x 7 cm;

x 30.

Architekton," with the further explanation "architectural

architect Yuri

the design for the reconstruction

and

30

(Higher Artistic-Technical

a photo-

graph of an architekton printed from an old glass negative

archival materials. In

x

architekton

reconstruction of Suprematist Architectural

Model was begun

the catalogue

in

architekton had been brought from Malevich's studio to

July in

for a long time that the architek-

but Suprematist Architectural

to the Tretiakov Gallery

86

Moscow

Arkhiv proizvedenii iskusstva (Archive of Works of Art) Zagorsk.

entry

before the start of the exhibition, as can be seen from a

acquired another architekton by Malevich, Planit (1

at the Tretiakov Gallery in

reads as follows: "No. 384. 'Suprematist Architekton.' Plaster.

first

izobrazitelnogo

damage

dated October

8,

in

1929,

be found

in

a

storage" at the

18

which describes

sustained by the architekton shortly before the

start of the exhibition: "Pieces of

the plaster parts of

Malevich's architekton have been broken off

K. S.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;they are on


damage

the floor next to the base of the architekton. The

when

occurred wiring."'

9

From

the pedestal

was moved during

this description,

electrical

can be inferred that the

it

architekton had been assembled, probably for the exhibi-

when

tion,

whether

it

it

was damaged. There

was

no information as to

damage

was

mount

1932, Malevich

In

is

repaired after the

able to

let (Artists

a large-scale

RSFSR

of the RSFSR over the Past Fifteen Years)

at the State Russian

Museum.

Malevich's installation, which

was presented

own

was not

of his

work on

in its

architectural conception. bition

hall,

architektons, but

was dominated by

The

only a

summation

also heralded a

it

new

architectural part of the exhi-

majestic vertical architektons:

architekton columns and stepped structures swept upward,

each crowned by a

human

figure.

The enormous impor-

names

during those years

a, b, c, e,

Soviets,

tions.

as

if

The

in

the

late architektons differed

became higher and

Suprematist architecture, freed,

in

new

stage of

Malevich's conception,

from the force of gravity and the pressure of weight. The

the ensemble. They formed, at the exhibition, a single Suprematist architectural milieu, representing an ideal that also included painting S.

I.

view of

strive

his

.

.

his late

.

me

works: "In 1932, Malevich showed

his

the

architektons and said that the previous

were unsuccessful and that

upward toward

new

space.

Soloveichik, Ivan Kliun's daughter, recalls Malevich's

maquettes of ones

in its

city

it

was important

to

space. However, he didn't consider

architektons to be perfect;

in his

view, they

were

only attempts to find the one and only correct solution and

Suprematist Architectural Model would not have been

from

out of place at the Russian tic

Museum

exhibition, as

its

plas-

qualities anticipated, to a certain extent, Malevich's

future work.

In fact,

Malevich had intended to include

it

in

lighter,

turning toward space. Their drawn-out forms, high

above the horizon, gravitate toward the column.

though the architektons had drawn space

is

It

and heavy

three-dimensional forms of earlier architektons, there a completely different plastic image,

classical associations.

was

which evoked

Indeed, the exhibition reflected

Malevich's desire to create a

modern

classicism.

The multi-

planed spatial construction of the architekton, the correlation of

as

into their very

structure. In place of the large static planes

now

and the general movement toward

and propor-

their spatial correlation

vertical architektons

vertical,

weightlessness were the hallmarks of a

the

in

Themes of Architectural Monuments

and so on. These

the earlier works

also reflected

Column of the Monument of

of the works:

Land of the

was

and

they lacked lightness and were too unwieldy." 20

tance accorded by Malevich to the theme of the

monument

zontal

architektons lost their autonomy, submitting to the rule of

occurred.

exhibition of his architektons as part of Khudozhniki

za 15

another and with the whole), the altered rhythm of hori-

strict

complex geometrical forms (with one MALEVICH'S INSTALLATION

IN

THE EXHIBITION ARTISTS Of THE

RSFSR OVER THE PAST FIFTEEN YEARS. STATE RUSSIAN MUSEUM.

LENINGRAD. 1932 State Russian

83

Museum,

St

Petersburg


the exhibition: archival materials the show's original

show

that

it

appeared

of works. Minutes from a July

list

meeting of the Jury for Sculpture

1

in

930

at the Tretiakov Gallery

note, "The question of exhibiting [Suprematist

Architectural Model] sion."

21

is

it

commis-

commission decided to exhibit the

Evidently, this

piece, as

included

in

a

list

committee

September or November 1930,

in

as "No.

23 'Suprematist Architectonic' 1927." 22 Unfortunately, the

become

architekton did not

some other works,

with

was

There

it

part of the exhibition; along

was removed from the

list

and

is

very

little

information on what happened to

Malevich's architektons

in

the Tretiakov Gallery's collection

from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Practically the only

information regarding the presence of the works collection are the

museum's inventory

lists

source of in

Hair],

the

from the 1930s

of

works not

were entered

ings, sculptures of

low

artistic

works from

Vladimirovich loganson, tor

in

May

activity

that reads "Department of Soviet Art.

September 21,1 934,

"

and

in

the inventory ledger, next

to "Suprematist Architectural Model,"

is

the note,

"Checked 1952." The

1

950s and

960s were

difficult

years for the

Tretiakov Gallery's avant-garde collection.

the works of

many

artists,

In

the late 1940s,

including Malevich,

were

excluded from the museum's catalogue of Soviet

Among and

"Inv.

were

art.

the works excluded were "5636/26 Architekton" 1

1997 Suprematist Architekton."

also excluded

23

Paintings

from the catalogue, among them

Malevich's Girl with a

Red

Staff (Sketch for a Portrait [Girl

TATIANA MIKHIENKO

who became

1951, took an active part

difficulties

collection." 24 Boris

the museum's direc-

in

broadening

this

by heading the Commission on the Selection of of

No

Exhibitional or Artistic Merit.

tic

merit"

would be stored

Committee on Matters in

in

The commission artis-

the Central Archive of the

Pertaining to the Arts

nonspecialized provincial

in

Zagorsk or

museums, among other

places. 26 This statement laid the foundation for the archiv-

many

In

of the Tretiakov Gallery's works, including

the early

1

950s,

all

of the

museum's works were

divided into four categories, depending

importance, with those

commission placed Malevich's works

1

that "the archiving of

determined that works deemed "of no exhibitional or

stamp

Checked on

merit," "Decorative arts,"

was noted

works from the main

Malevich's architektons.

a

into a special inventory

would not pose the same

this roster

as the archiving of

It

made

is

Mabuzo

book, which consisted of three sections: "Paintings, draw-

ing of

"Suprematist Architectural Model," there

932-33), Doctor

the catalogue of the museum's

listed in

through the 1950s. Various ledgers also contain entries after inventories: in the registration book, next to

1

(1922-27), a movie poster, and Black Square (1915). The titles

Works

Moscow.

left in

Her

and "Formalist works."

of sculptures from the

Tretiakov Gallery accepted for the exhibition by the selection

in

principal collection

to be decided by a special

is

Comb

with a

in

deemed

on

their perceived

the least important by the

the fourth category. 27

were placed

in

All of

the third and fourth cate-

gories, with the exception of his painting Spring:

Bloom It

is

(1904), which

enough

to

name

was a

included

few

in

Garden

in

the second category.

of the twentieth-century paint-

ings relegated to the fourth category to convey their real

importance: Mikhail Larionov's Soldier Resting (1911) and Waitress

(n.d.); Natalia

and Peacock

Goncharova's Washing Linen (1910)

(n.d.); Vasily

Kandinsky's Composition No. 7

(1913); Vladimir Tatlin's A/ude (191 3) and Board No.

1


(n.d.);

Marc Chagall's Above the

City (191 7-18);

and

paint-

ings by Viktor Bonsov-Musatov, Anstarkh Lentulov, Liubov

eighty-five entries; entry no.

Malevich's "Architekton."

Popova, Olga Rozanova, and Nadezhda Udaltsova. There

were

(ca.

Architekton

The

list

those 1

Through

also four paintings by Malevich:

Kuntsevo

1913),

(n.d.), 28

Dynamic Suprematism and

Woman

of Soviet paintings

in this

requisite

1

Installation

930s

of the Workshop

Aleksandr

Tyshler's

were

(n.d.)

Dance with a Red

and David Shterenberg's

(1918),

among

included

Red

The ing:

in this

Staff,

others. Three section: Black

Life

Girl

list

of

works

in

the Barracks

(n.d.);

Chagall's The

with the

(n.d.);

is

Morning

(1918); Deneika's

in

Petrov-Vodkin's

Konchalovsky's The Violinist

At the Samovar

(n.d.);

(n.d.);

Robert

Kuzma

many

other works without which

ine the fell

museum's

it

is

and

impossible to imag-

collection. Four of Malevich's paintings

into this category: Black

and no more than 1,000 drawings." 3

in

transfers to Zagorsk

staff of

thus

was

less

cally

Square (1915), Haymaking

1957. The order likely

first-class

collection of avant-garde paintings

works and

still

was

practi-

very serious losses,

1964 and 1965. 32 An order by the Ministry of

Culture on April

9,

1965 granted the Tretiakov Gallery

archive, including both of Malevich's architektons. 33 In the

transfer papers

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the

mention of the architektons

5464 KrTG." 34 Next

a question mark.

in

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the works are cited as follows:

"'Suprematist Architectural Model' plaster

is

category consisted of

last

the museum's documents

The

in this

in

'

could have been. The

it

unaffected, but there were

especially in

one

the Tretiakov Gallery. Thanks to

devastating than

"'Planit' plaster

of Soviet sculpture

began only

which paintings were transferred was most

(1928-29), Sisters (1910), and Dressing Table Box (n.d). list

larger than

rolled-up canvases of large

authorization to transfer 2,632 works to the Zagorsk

Falk's

Beautiful Furniture (n.d.); Shterenberg's Aniska (n.d),

no

paintings,

The

of

notified that "at

more than three

museum's

New Workshop

Building Sites (n.d.); Konstantin Istomin's Vuzovki College Girls (n.d.); Petr

museum was

number

in

possible to transfer to the Archive of

them, the transfer did not begin with

also astound-

Larionov's

is

paperwork. However,

to accept a limited

of Art up to 100 paintings

decided by the

the third category

it

in

meter, no

also

Kandinsky's White Oval (1919);

Wedding

954 the archive agreed

Works

and Doctor Mabuzo.

Kuznetsov's Blue Fountain

would drown

it

paintings and drawings. The

with Herring

Square (1929),

1

that

the present time,

(n.d.);

works by Malevich were

works to be archived

the third and fourth categories. Fortunately, the

some hope

Veil (n.d); Pavel

Still

of the

works; the process became drawn out, and there was

and Female Acrobat

with the Kernel

in

Many

Zagorsk archive was unable to accept a large number of

Filonov's Faces (1919); a "theatrical panel" (n.d.) by

Chagall;

documentation to the Committee on the Arts and

the archiving of works. 30

Ballgame (1932) and Before

Girl

of the

(Chief Administration Authority for Visual Arts) regarding

Yurn Pimenov's, Give to Heavy Industry (1927);

Aleksandr Samokhvalov's

all

with a Rake (1928-32).

Lowering into the Mine (1925); Pavel Kuznetsov's Pushbol (n.d.);

1997) was

category coincides with

at the Tretiakov Gallery: Petr Viliams's

(n.d); Aleksandr Deneika's

1

began an extensive correspondence with Glavistusstvo

(1916),

a contemporary exhibition of paintings from the

in

920s and

no.

(inv.

1953, the Tretiakov Gallery submitted

In

Station.

40

29

The archiving

85

to the

1

1997" and

word

"Planit"

of the practically


.

"

.

"

Notes Kazimir Malevich: Sobranie sochinenu

1

v piati tomakh. vol.

(Moscow

1

Gileia,

1995), p. 189. 2.

Malevich, letter to Konstantin

Rozhdestvensky, Berlin, April 21, 1927,

dem Zeichen

Unter

in

Konstantin Rozdeswjenski:

Vasiln Rakitin,

des Roten Quadrats.

Gmurzynska,

exh. cat. (Cologne Galerie

1993), p. 30.

3 Kazimir Malevich: Sobranie sochinenu

(Moscow

v piati tomakh, vol. 2

GUARD OF HONOR AT MALEVICH'S COFFIN LENINGRAD. MAY 1935 State Russian

Museum,

St.

IN

Gileia.

1998), p. 122

4 Rozhdestvensky, "O suprematisme,"

Petersburg

in

Rakitin, Konstantin Rozdeswjenski, p. 30.

"Kazimir Malevich,"

5. Ernst Kallai,

no 7(1927),

Kunstblatt,

nonexistent Planit

was

at best a formality.

Suprematist 6 Quoted

Architectural

Model was

practically in ruins

when

it

was

"

Minuvshee23

returned to the Tretiakov Gallery

in

rebuilt,

it

will

become

it

has been restored and

part of the

Rozental,

(1998),

Quoted

in

M. Kumn, "Ob Unovise,

Iskusstvo, nos.

2-3 (1921).

8 See Kazimir Malevich Sobranie sochi-

museum's twentieth-

nenu

century art collection.

date

v piati is

tomakh,

confirmed

in

vol

the reverse side of one of the old photographs of

an architekton belonging to the Tretiakov

Malevich's department

is

a in full

Suprematism.

A monument

to the

new

vertical

9

when he

Malevich 1927." 35

intended to be

his

It

was

this architekton that

tombstone. The

monument

in

the

joined of

fall

swing. Nikolai Mikhailovich

Vasilii Rakitin,

Suetin (Moscow: RA, 1998)

nonobjective

art. 1

K.

p 309 This

1923, work on architektons was already

Gallery, there

note written by Malevich: "Suprematist column

I,

Rozhdestvensky's

memoirs: he notes that

On

96

p.

1993, after almost 7

thirty years. Hopefully, after

V

in L.

Neprimechatelnyie dostovernosti,

he

0.

Kazimir Malevich: Sobranie sochinenu

v piati

to the

new

1

1

tomakh,

Planit

came

vol

127

2, p.

to the

museum

in

1

930,

following Vystavka proizvedenu tsentral-

art

was

to

become

he wrote to

and those

Malevich's

monument. "When

his friend Kliun, "all

who know

the

me, must bury

artists

me

in

I

die,"

of the world,

Barvikha

noi gosvdarstvennoi komissii

in

isobrazitel-

nikh iskusstv (Exhibition of Works of the Central State Commission for the

.

.

.

Procurement of Works

and put on my grave a tower

po

pnobredteniyam proizvedenii

the form of that column

1

928-29). Planit

is

in

the Fine Arts,

no 5 125

in

the exhi-

bition's catalogue: "'Architekton.

that

is

in

the Tretiakovka

.

.

.

a telescope will be placed to

with a

watch

turret, inside of

Jupiter."

36

which

Planit-monument motif

'

Painted plaster.

Workshop ('4 iskusstva) Acquisition 1929-1930 " Both the Tretiakov Gallery and the Pushkin State Museum of Fine

Translated from the Russian by Daniel Rishik.

Arts, Moscow, wanted to acquire the work At the meeting of the State

Commission

for the Acquisition of

Produced by Persons Working Arts, this

matter was decided

in in

Works

the Fine favor of

the Tretiakov Gallery RGALI (Russian

TATIANA MIKHIENKO


5

.

State Archive of Literature

and

645, op 1,ed khr 485.

70)

1.

December

an entry

is

[Tretiakov Gallery Archive], 19).

That

by

is,

f.

RGALI,

work

the

Sobranie sochinenii

I.

83-85

29 of

List

645, op.

ed. khr. 482,

The height indicated

of the

x

I.

79.

there,

Chaga/Stedelijk

would

B Ovsiannikova) created

19.

preliminary computerized versions of the

reconstruction as well as several paper

maquettes on the photographs. N.

basis of

a restorer,

ments

L. V.

making

OR GTG,

f.

ed khr 91,

8/IV,

45.

1

20 S

and made

OR GTG,

Minutes no.

exhibitional or artistic value.

31.0

Esipova (head of the Zagorsk

Archive of Works of

Art), letter

to P

I.

Lebedev

(director of the State Tretiakov

Gallery),

October 28, 1954,

f.

ed

8/IV,

khr.

OR GTG,

393,1. 15.

op l.ed.

48

Arkhitekton,'

("K. ser.

S.

of

List

23

of

List

in

i

("K

S.

Theoretician,

Moscow:

khudozhnik," 1990),

O Khan-Magomedov's book 56, the architekton

is

mistakenly attributed to Suetm ("N. M.

of the architekton

(1923 [1989]), reconstructed

Musee is

85

2

I

peintures, dessins Collections

ed

khr.

26. Minutes of the

Selection of

Works

du Musee

8/1-IV, ed. khr.

List

of

categories),

16 Inventory of paintings, sculptures,

1,

89-92

Vkhutein's exhibition

645, op

Man

Portrait of a

Shop

(n.d.),

and

GRM

muzei] Several

ruskii

paintings

were returned to the Tretiakov

Gallery

the 1980s, including

in

Roman

OR GTG,

(n.d.),

and

G. N. Rublev's Seamstresses (n.d),

G.N. Trauberg's

Rally in the

Lane (n.d).

33. Order of the Ministry of Culture of the

USSR No 141

1965,

OR GTG,

f

1-3/36, April 9.

8/IV,

ed khr 234,

178.

Document

34.

386.

no. 5 regarding the

transfer of exhibits

June

5,

from the Tretiakov

1965,

OR GTG,

8/IV,

f.

ed khr 234. The architektons appear the

Commission on the

No

of

Exhibitional

OR GTG,

392.

list

of decorative

and applied

in

art

(first

OR GTG,

other exhibits, such a plate with an

engraved

f.

through fourth 8/IV, ed. khr.

portrait of Stalin,

drill

of stainless steel (a gift from a

machine-building plant). According to this

document, 2,366 works were

trans-

ferred to the Zagorsk archive, consisting

of

86

paintings, 2,265 drawings.

sculptures, 1,

porphyry

vases from the Hermitage, and a

made

works from the State Tretiakov

Gallery collection

f.

1950,

or Artistic Value. 1951-52,

64

1928, RGALI.

the Butcher

(Gosudarstvennyi

I

14

386,1

27.

ed. khr 482.

ed. khr 87,

5,

N.

Nukuss Museum; and

to the

Gallery,

CGPMNAM,

in

8/IV,

museum valuables, OR GTG, f. 8/IV, ed. khr

national d'art moderne, exh cat (Pans

July 7.

State Tretiakov

art,

12.

8/IV,

(n.d.)

being transferred, along with various

Gofa

f.

room,

the

accounting of

cm. See Malevitch: Architectones,

and drawings

in

on inventory taking and

at the

national d'art moderne, Paris,

1980), p

f.

Tuapse

Matveyevich Semashkevich's Avto

works not included

certificates

f

The height

142.

25 Order no. 90. May

1927")

Suetin, 'Vertical Arkhitekton,'

1

1

11 (ob)

1949-53.

Pionery sovetskogo disaina (Moscow: Galart. 1995), strp

be shown

643, op

.

24 Orders, minutes, documents, and

138

Malevich, 'Arkhitekton,' 1926(7).

Lost ."). In S

I.

f

Izd-vo ill.

went

other works went to the

artists,

teoretik (Malevich: I.

"Sovietskii

institutions to

OR GTG,

Gallery,

and

accepted by

of art

catalogue of Soviet 1920s"); and

museum's archived

Demonstration (n.d),

Malevich, 'Vertical

Malevich: Khudozhnik Artist

works

ed. khr. 11,

sowjetischen Arkhitektur (Vienna: Locker,

of the

Aleksei Alekseevich Morgunov's

643,

50.

at the exhibition, RGALI,

in

Khan-Magomedov, Pioniereder fig.

I.

the selection commission from

museums, and

reproduced

is

khr. 8,

f.

In

photographs were taken

photograph

Some

32

went by to the Abramtsevo Museum, V Kashin's Trial in Samarkand {n.d.)

the Tretiakov

in

1930, RGALI.

this

Museum Amsterdam]

thank

Vasilii

Rakitin for

photograph available to

2.

1931, private archive.

See the Documents section

other museums. For example, Aristarkh

11

I

like to

of exhibits without any

Vasilievich Lentulov's Port

of the meeting of

1

the Jury for Sculpture

22.

1983),

178, ed. khr 11,

f.

Gallery, July 25,

traces of attachments of the parts

S 0.

20.

Soloveichik (Kliunkova),

I.

ments; they revealed Malevich's marks

14. This

I.

the collection

me

36. Malevich, letter to Ivan Khun.

works were transferred from Zagorsk to

21

Levko, took measure-

of the architekton

Precise

8/IV, ed. khr. 54,

Rozenvasser of the

I

drawings and paper tracings of the frag-

and

f.

"Malevich Kazimir Severinovich,"

drawings and

Tretiakov Gallery's sculpture department

and

OR GTG,

in

Tretiakov Gallery collection (third cate-

Architectural Institute (under the direction of E

is

Foundation Khardzhiev-

publication.

the catalogue entry.

in

80

June

by half a centimeter

differs

from that given

m

works from the State

on the archiving

18. Entry in the Tretiakov Gallery's regis-

86.5 cm,

Moscow

1,

(x.,

30. Correspondence with Glaviskusstvo

khr 482.

Glaviskusstvo to the Tretiakov Gallery, f

of

List

gory),

works transferred by

of

List

as "Arkhitekton

1928-29.

in

Led

645. op

tration book.

vpiati tomakh, vol 2, p. 124.

13 The students of the

164 (ob).

I

listed

I

645,

f

was

80lnv. 11967)."

the Fine Arts,

the fine arts

in

f

RGALI,

practically did not exist. 12. Kazimir Malevich:

ed. khr 482,

working

GTG

8/IV, ed. khr.

this time,

1,

in

21, 1928, RGALI,

acquired works produced by persons

separate fragments remain" (OR

I.

op.

"damaged, only

27, 1950:

Works Produced by

35 The photograph

Dynamic Suprematism

28. The second

Minutes of the Commission for

7

Persons Working

of this

of Planit, dated

on the condition

460,

1

the

In

museum's documents, there

f

the Acquisition of

no photographs

Unfortunately,

architekton have survived

November

Art.

,

and 9 items

and applied

6

of decorative

arts.

95.

87

Moscow

in this


MALEVICH LYING

MAY

IN

STATE

IN HIS

APARTMENT, LENINGRAD.

17-18, 1935

State Russian

Museum,

St.

Petersburg


< m z >

O < >

MALEVICH'S SUPREMATISM AND RELIGION It

is

popularly believed that the

artistic

avant-garde were based on revolutionary

taken

belief, for

works were

in

it

fails

leanings of the Russian politics,

to take into account that

fact created

in

movement was

Paul

is

a mis-

most avant-garde

the late 1900s and early 1910s

several years before the revolution of 1917.

avant-garde

but this

Although the Russian

heavily influenced by

Western

art

Cezanne and Post-Impressionism, Futurism, and Cubism

particular

it

was

also

much

influenced by

its

own

in

national tradi-

tions during this time. Religious art (church architecture, icons,

frescoes)

and

traditional crafts

(wood

dery) enjoyed an unexpected revival

Examples of

religious

exhibited alongside

and

folk art

works of high

in

carving, ceramics, embroi-

Russia

were art.

in

the early 1910s.

collected, studied,

and

The cosmic nature of Old

Russian and folk art helped the masters of the avant-garde

advance deeper

into the realms of nonobjectivity, a process aided

also by the religious beliefs typically held,

the majority of Russian avant-garde

Malevich was no exception.

In

in

varying degrees, by

artists.

the middle of the

first

decade

of the 1900s, he painted a series of compositions for a fresco, collectively

represented

titled

the

Studies for a Fresco Painting,

Gospel

subjects

of

in

which he

the Transfiguration,

89

the


Gethsemane style. In

Prayer,

and the Resurrection

one of these works,

in

a Symbolist

Self-Portrait, Malevich depicted

himself as God. This "Messianic" approach to his role society

and

accompanied the

art

viewed himself as

a Messiah, called not only to save, but

also to transform the world,

"new Gospels

writings as

Suprematism

in

Malevich

artist all his life.

and he regarded

his theoretical

in art."'

note that the

between

own

Malevich's tenets confirming his

ness

in

Malevich offered

God

in

God decided

own

his

artist's

entire

death

in

until his

1935.)

interpretation of the

Not Cast Down:

Is

in

to build the world

1916, as he was

garde movements, Malevich likened himself to Christ

be

and to assume the

free,

it

entire Nothing or

eternal rest as a great thinking essence, for there

working to establish Suprematism among the other avant-

artist

order to free himself from

in

a far forever, in order to

fellow avant-garde

egocentric religious-

accompanied the

a cosmic context

In fact,

word supremus,

Latin

In

relationship

the second half of the

in

Russia following the Bolshevik Revolution.

in

Creation

Malevich understood the concept of "supremacy"

letter written to

society

oeuvre from before 1917 right up

interpretation of the Creation. While the term

broader and more profound way.

and

1910s, despite the de facto prohibition of religion and the

church

largely expressed Malevich's personal

"Suprematism" derives from the

was addressing the

artist

religion

in

a

about

the same to

man on

the

Mikhail

— everything

else to think

[social]

perfect.

was nothing

He wanted to give

Man, however, was unable to endure

Earth.

system and transgressed

the whole system collapsed,

Matiushin:

was

Man

it.

weight

its

left its captivity

on him.

falling

and

other

In

words, feeling the weight inside him, God turned the system into

Heaven on

Christ revealed

two extremes, two

establishing in

oneself or "there."

like

we walked

shores.

poles,

shall

no matter where they are

more than the

is

sky,

on the

river

and sea

stronger and mightier; our

The weight became

light.

He "unweighted"

own

theory that

is

theory of physical space as a cosmos, a

manifested

in his

Suprematist compositions

which geometric forms appear on

background

than the sky." Reflecting

a

in

space that

is,

a light, "fathomless"

in his

opinion,

"more

placing

man

Malevich's in

"unknown system"

which man

lives

the world

is

—and Suprematism man

is

—the universe

the

in this

artistic

universe.

"The

weight," designated by color and form and dispersed

throughout the universe,

what

is

constitutes the

mono-

chrome Suprematist canvas.

Why

did Malevich return so often to the black square

throughout

his career?

Was

the urge to reproduce his

it

original masterpiece, or did these repetitions manifest a

3

on

art in general in

the late 1910s, Malevich

published an essay entitled Bog ne skinut: Iskusstvo, Tserkov, Fabrika

it,

an unknown system. 5

expression of the existence of

explain his

Factory). 4

in

the doctrine of the space of the wilderness. 2

is

Here he introduced the concept of the Revelation to help

in

dust.

not walk past a thousand poles,

past billions of grains of sand

The space

new book

We

an end to space and

Earth, putting

(God

The very

Is

title

Not Cast Down: of the

work and

are permeated with religious pathos.

YEVGENIA PETROVA

Art, its

(It is

Church,

terminology

interesting to

particular idea?

The

artist's

own

approach to the black square

from

his

stance

appeared

in

a

nad solntsem

in

1913,

in

when

writings

1920

his

performance of the {Victory

show

that his

differed cardinally

seminal canvas Futurist

first

opera Pobeda

Over the Sun) as part of the

sets


The black square now

that launched Suprematism.

acquired not just aesthetic significance, but spiritual significance.

In

a

1920

wrote: "This

is

not painting;

letter to

Mikhail Gershenzon, Malevich

the form of a is

it

something

new

own

Divinity after

its

God

He continued:

else."

draw an image

the idea that were humanity to

the image of

organism. ...

living

had

"I

of the

image, perhaps the black square

-

why

Malevich repeated the black square several times:

form and color appear to have best expressed the

God

understanding of the image of

between man and the

in

ing

«< -

artist's

the relationship

essence, creating a

in

its

universe.

Unlike Russian Orthodox icon painters

from

«.

may suggest

path for today's fresh beginning." 6 This

new

who

however, Malevich excluded

biblical texts,

is

as the essence of His perfection on a

new

Malevich was,

is

It

type of icon.

+

illustrated

all

narrative

compositions. He minimalized the images, reduc-

his

them

to pure forms,

and he monumentalized the

squares, circles, and crosses

employed by icon painters

the clothes of the saints, elevating

them

in

to the level of -

independent, multisignificant symbols. By placing a square,

circle,

or cross

on a white or gray background,

Malevich was returning to the canons of Old Russian reinterpreting

them

in his

own

original

manner.

In

art,

Russian

THREE BASIC SUPREMATIST ELEMENTS

IN

CONTRAST.

PAGE DESIGN FOR THE NONOBJECTIVE WOULD

icons, a sanctity,

white background traditionally symbolizes

and

eternity,

purity,

while black represents the chasm,

(MUNICH ALBERT LANGEN VERIAG. 1927) 1927, pencil on paper.

B

es (21

»

16

Kupferstichkabinett. Offenihche Kunstsammlung Basel

hell,

and darkness. As

in

Victory

Over the Sun,

in

which

the characters battle against the Sun, the symbol of

life,

Malevich employed the Black Square to incarnate the perfection of the

the

movement

modern God. Implying more than

of contemporary art

"Nothing" or traditional figurative

was

reclaiming the icon for

art,

art, in a

just

beyond the bounds of Malevich's oeuvre

new, updated form.

91


Judging by the thoughts expressed

Down, Malevich was engaged

in

language that would express the new

a universal artistic

forms of

fcNAJERffe

art.

a

new

new

in

He was convinced that these forms could

help him to construct a

words, a

By creat-

religion.

he had found a way to incarnate the universe

JIEKUM/I

in his

and white squares, Malevich believed that

ing black, red,

%

Cast

"new path

he used

Gershenzon) and sought

letter to

God Is Not

a quest for a

for today's fresh beginning" (a phrase

1920

in

new

new

"architecture"

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

other

in

between man and the world,

relationship

religion.

Malevich's writings and his ambitious attempt to

06

new

create a

ICKyCCTBE,UEPKBH>

MEPMNE, KAK /TBE_PEX PKQAWUIHK BOr/L,

religion did not pass

unnoticed. Reviewing

mWM

God

Is

by

his

contemporaries

Not Cast Down

in

1

922,

Boris Arvatov, an advocate of Constructivism, wrote:

Zl:

I

have continuously pointed out that Suprematism

is

the most

detrimental reaction under the banner of the revolution,

doubly harmful reaction. Left-wing

art in

the form of

linking

still

it

a

truly

in

snip-

revolutionary group (Constructivism) should not hesitate

ping the cord

i.e.,

its

to Suprematism. After Malevich's

candid thrusts, even the doubters, even the short-sighted, discern the black face of the old art behind the

will

mask of the red

square. 7 POSTER FOR MALEVICH'S LECTURE "CONCERNING ART. CHURCH.

FACTORY AS THREE WAYS OF CONFIRMING GOD," MUSEUM OF ARTISTIC CULTURE. PETROGRAD. JUNE State Russian

Museum,

St.

Petersburg

4,

The

critic

was

right

when he wrote

that for Malevich

the 1920s, Suprematism had creation of a letter

For

new

religion.

become

As the

a vehicle for the

artist

himself wrote

in

dated April 11, 1920:

many

years

was concerned with my movement

I

in

colors,

leaving the religion of the spirit aside, and twenty-five years have passed,

and now

religious World;

have returned or rather

I

I

do not know why

churches, look at the saints action,

and now

I

see

whole, that the time

YEVGENIA PETROVA

in

1922

is

and the

in myself,

coming for

it

I

have entered into the

happened

and perhaps a

so.

/

visit

entire spiritual world in in

the world as a

change of religions*

a


'

on

Reflecting

religion,

and the factory

sion that the church

—were extremely

The walls also in

palaces and

its

similar:

of both are decorated with

countenances and

portraits,

arranged according to merit or rank. Martyrs or heroes

both the former and the

saints.

There

is

is

names are

latter, their

no difference; on

for the question is

to the conclu-

— implying the

with

organization of Socialist society, clubs

came

Malevich

identical, the

all

aim

sides, is

everything

identical,

exist

also listed as is

identical,

and the meaning

the quest for God.

Malevich wrote these words ally

abandoned

1920s

in

1920. Shortly

painting, only returning to

after a trip to

Germany. During

it

after, in

this sabbatical

painting, the artist spent a lot of time reflecting

of Suprematism. Writing from

he

Germany

virtu-

the late

from

on the

fate

to Konstantm

Rozhdestvensky, Malevich stated: "Nonobjective art stands

without windows and doors, life,

like a

When

pure sensation

like a

in

which

homeless tramp, desires to spend the night." 10 -

Malevich returned to Russia and once again

took up painting, he chose to address subjects from "life,"

Many

working

particularly intensely

on

his

Peasant Cycle.

THE THIRD BASIC SUPREMATIST ELEMENT. PAGE DESIGN

FOR THE NONOBJECTIVE

paintings from this period represent a form of

Suprematism

into

which the

artist

has "breathed

life."

VERLAG.

WORLD (MUNICH ALBERT LANGEN

19.

1927. pencil on paper.

8%

x

I0VS inches (20 6

x

26

7

cm)

Kupferstichkabinett. Offentliche Kunslsamcnlung Basel

While

their incorporeality

and absence of weight suggest

the Suprematism of the mid-1 910s, their allusions to subject matter derived from the necessity of opening

"windows and doors," color

getting closer to

and form to incarnate

universe,

and man

in

and using

a pure sensation of space, the

the universe. Malevich's peasants of

the late 1920s and early 1930s are "universal" people

life,

irreal.

They are

—the same people of the future

(budetlyane) from Victory Over the Sun, only cleansed of

the elements of buffoonery and the grotesque pervading

93


Malevich's

costume designs

returning to figurative

Malevich did not engage

art,

new

mimicry, but rather sought realizing

for the Futurist opera. In

and accepting the changes taking place

Suprematism was transformed and perfected, nated

in

a

new

which was,

aesthetic,

in self-

paths for Suprematism, in life.

reincar-

for Malevich, a

form

of religion. The characters he created are solemn, majestic,

and

faceless

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;worthy of

modern heroes and

embodies the theme of led by

God toward

a

new

a

No one knows what looked

like.

The

inclusion

martyrs.

artist

is

in

an iconostasis of

The Peasant Cycle thus

new

religion

and

a

new people

life.

Malevich's Socialist City project

known

to have donated his

designs and writings on the subject to Glavnauka, the

body overseeing Soviet

cial

Judging by several studies St.

Petersburg, the

artist

art

in

and

science,

in

the State Russian

offi-

1932.

Museum

in

intended to create something

akin to an iconostasis depicting various representatives of

the urban population. As

may

also have

Suprematism late project,

MALEVICH PAINTING GIRL WITH A RED STAFF, APRIL

3,

1933

wanted

in

new

Peasant Cycle, the

to continue the concept of

Malevich thus employed the

artistic

ideology

of the Orthodox Church to create a revolutionary in

artist

forms. From the black square to this

Photograph by Nikolai Suetin

YEVGENIA PETROVA

in his

the twentieth century.

new

art


)

9 Malevich, Bog ne skinut Iskusstvo

Notes

Bog ne

Kazimir Malevich,

1

Tserkov Fabnka

Iskusstvo

Tserkov Fabnka, p 248

skinut

Kazimir

in

Malevich: Sobrante sochmenu v piati

tomakh,

vol

I

(Moscow:

1995)

Gileia.

10 Malevich,

Malevich (St

2

Quoted

K

S

Kovtun, "Pismo

F

in E

M

Malevicha

V

Matiushinu,"

letter

Rozhdestvensky, in

to Konstantin

May

7,

the Russian

1927,

in

Kazimir

Museum

Petersburg: Palace Editions, 2000),

p 395 in

Ezhegodnik Rukopisnogo otdela

Pushkmskogo doma na 1974 g (Leningrad: Nauka, 1976), pp 177-95. Malevich, flog ne skinut Iskusstvo

3

Tserkov Fabnka

God

4 Dated 1920 by Malevich, Cast

Down

published

had

Vitebsk

clearly reflected

essay's

as

in

Church, Factory

Art,

themes

evident

is

in

1922. The

in

on many

earlier

than

letters,

artist

of the

however,

this,

Malevich's letters to

Mikhail Gershenzon from

(The

Is Not was

now

in

1918

to 1920.

the collection of the

Khardzhiev-Chaga Foundation, Stedelijk

Museum, Amsterdam, appear

in

Aleksandra Shatskikh, comp., Chernyi kvadrat[S\ Petersburg: Azbuka, 2001] 5 Malevich,

Bog ne skinut. 246

Iskusstvo

Tserkov Fabnka. p

6 Malevich,

letter to Mikhail

Gershenzon, March 20, 1920,

in

Shatskikh, comp., Chernyi kvadrat,

pp 438-39 7,

Boris Arvatov, "Malevich.

Bog ne

skinut (Iskusstvo. Tserkov Fabnka)," Pecfraf

i

revoliuciia, no. 7 (1922),

pp 343-44 8 Malevich, 1

1.

1920.

in

letter

to Gershenzon, April

Shatskikh,

kvadrat, p 441

Italics

comp

,

Chernyi

added

95


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100

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of Theatre

and Music

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STUDY FOR THE DECOR OF VICTORY OVER THE SUN. ACT

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SCENE 4

1913. pencil on pape>

Foundation Cultural Center Khard?hiev-Chaga. Amsterdam/St*

Museum. Amsterdam

GMB100

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STUDY FOR THE DECOR OF VICTORY OVER THE SUN. ACT 1913. pi St

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101

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ALOGIC COMPOSITION DESIGN FOR VICTORY OVER THE SUN (STRONGMAN) 1913, pencil on graph paper, 4

x 4'/,

inches 1102

* 11

5cm)

Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga, Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum. Amsterdam

GMB70

102

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STUDY FOR THE DECOR OF VICTORY OVIR THC SUN 1913. black ink over pencil on transparent whit.

mounted on ordbo.. Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga. Amsterdam/Stedeli|k Museum. Amsterdam

GMBI26

103

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LADY AT ADVERTISING COLUMN 1914,

oil

and collage on canvas,

28 x 25% inches Stedelijk

A7657

104

(71 x

64 cm)

Museum, Amsterdam


IACTMH0E

COMPOSITION WITH 1914,

24

Vi

*

oil, 1

9

collage, '/:

Museum,

No Zh-440

106

LISA

inches (62 x 49,5 cm)

State Russian Inv

MONA

and pencil on canvas,

St-

Petersburg


PRIVATE OF THE FIRST DIVISION 1914. 21

oil

and collage on canvas.

17H inches (53 7 « 44 8 cm) Museum of Modern An. New York.

V* «

The

confirmed

m

Ka2imir Malevich and

the Mrs

814 35

107

Acquisition

1999 by agreement with the Estate of

made

possible with funds from

John Hay Whitney Bequest (by eichange)


ALOGIC COMPOSITION 1914-15, pencil on graph paper, 6V4

*

4%

inches (16.5

* 11.2

cm)

Private collection, courtesy Galerie

108

Gmurzynska, Zug


TAILOR ca

191S. pencil on

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Museum Dep

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cm)

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1979/44


CUBO-FUTURIST COMPOSITION:

MAN SMOKING

1913, pencil and collage on graph paper,

5x4

inches (12.8 x 10,1 cm)

Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga, Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

GMB18

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112

Contemporary

Art,

Tokyo


ALOGIC COMPOSITION 191S, pencil on graph paper.

Private collection, courtesy

113

Galene Gmurzynska. Zug


CONSTRUCTION ca.

1915, pencil on graph paper,

6%

x iVt inches (16.3 * 11.2 cm)

Museum Oep

114

Ludwig, Cologne. Ludwig Collection

Slg.L.

1979/45


ALOGIC COMPOSITION

115


ALOGIC COMPOSITION 1915, pencil on graph paper,

4%

x

6'/i

inches (11.2 x 16.5 cm)

Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum, Japan

D 323

116


ALOGIC COMPOSITION 4A 1915, pencil on graph paper.

117


BLACK SQUARE 1915, 31

K

oil

x 31

on canvas, 'A

inches (79.5 x 79.5 cm)

State Tretiakov Gallery, Inv.

No. 11925

118

Moscow


PLANE 1915,

IN oil

ROTATION, CALLED BLACK CIRCLE on canvas,

31'/s x 31

'/e

inches (79 x 79 cm)

Private collection, courtesy Galerie

120

Gmurzynska, Zug


BLACK CROSS 1915.

oil

on canvas. nches (80 .80 cm!

Musee

national dart moderne.

Centre Georges Pompidou. Pans Inv

121

AM

1980-1


ELONGATED PLANE 1915,

oil

on canvas. 31V; x

Private collection, courtesy

122

31'/i

inches (80 * 80 cm)

Galene Gmurzynska, Zug


FOUR SQUARES 1915,

oil

on canvas. 1914

x

19%

inches (49 x 49 cm)

A.N Radischev State Art Museum, Saratov Inv.

No Zh-1089

124


PICTORIAL REALISM OF A PEASANT

WOMAN

IN

TWO

DIMENSIONS, CALLED RED SQUARE 191

S, oil

on canvas. 15

x

1

Private collection, courtesy

126

1

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inches (40 x 30 cm)

Galene Gmurzynska, Zug


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1915,

The

oil

on canvas, 28

Museum

of

Modern

x 17'/; inches (71.1 * 44.5

Art.

New

cm)

York, Acquisition confirmed

by agreement with the Estate of Kazimir Malevich and

made

in

1999

possible

with funds from the Mrs. John Hay Whitney Bequest (by exchange)

816 35

128


SUPREMATIST PAINTING BLACK RECTANGLE. BLUE TRIANGLE 1915.

01

i'um.

A7671

129

Amsterdam


5UPREMATIST COMPOSITION WITH PLANE 1915,

oil

on canvas,

22'/i x

22

<A

Private collection, courtesy Galerie

130

IN

PROJECTION

inches (57 x 57 cm)

Gmurzynska, Zug


SUPREMATISM: SQUARE ON A DIAGONAL SURFACE 1915, pencil and India ink on graph paper, 6'/«

«

4%

inches (15.4 x 11 cm)

Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga, Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

GMB91

132

4.2001(20)


SUPREMATISM: FOUR SPATIAL ELEMENTS AGAINST A BLACK TRAPEZOID 1915, pencil on graph paper,

4%

x 4

!

/i

inches (11.9x 11.1 cm)

Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga, Amsterdam/Stedelijk

Museum, Amsterdam

GMB82

134

4.2001(32)


THREE IRREGULAR QUADRANGLES 1915. pencil on grap'

Foundation Cultural Cent. Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museu'

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4Ve inches (12 5

y.

11

6cm)

Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga, Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum. Amsterdam

GMA31

136

4 2001(123)

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SUPREMATISM 1915. pencil

Museum Oep

137

Slg

c

Ludwig. Cologn.


COMPOSITION

17 R

1915, pencil on graph paper,

4%

x 6Vs inches (11.1 x 16.7 cm)

Private collection, courtesy Galerie

138

Gmurzynska, Zug


COMPOSITION

21 C

1915 pencil on graph paper.

Private collection, courtesy Galerie

139

Gmu'


SUPREMATISM (18TH CONSTRUCTION) 1915. oil on canvas, 20% x 2054 inches (53 Stedelijk

A7674

140

Museum, Amsterdam

x

53 cm)


SUPREMATIST PAINTING: EIGHT RED RECTANGLES 1915,

oil

Stedelijk

A7672

142

on canvas, 22 V.

x

1

9

Museum, Amsterdam

'/a

inches (57

5x48.5 cm)


SUPREMATISM 1915, 21

oil

« 21

14

on canvas, tt

Regional Art Inv

inches (53 5

No ZhS-786

144

x

53.7 cm)

Museum, Ivanovo


SUPP.EMATIST COMPOSITION AIRPLANE FLYING 1915.

The

oil

on canvas.

Museum

of

22h

a 19 inches (58

Modern An. New

1

.

48

3

cm)

York, Acquisition confirmed in

by agreement with the Estate of Kazimir Malevich and

made

1999

possible

with funds from the Mrs John Hay Whitney Bequest (by e«change>

248 35

145


SUPREMATISM PAINTERLY REALISM OF A FOOTBALL PLAYER (COLOR MASSES IN THE FOURTH DIMENSION) 1915, oil on canvas, 27 Vi x 17% inches (70x44 cm) Stedelijk

A7682

146

Museum, Amsterdam


SUPREMATISM (SELF-PORTRAIT 1915.

oil

Stedeli|k

A7683

147

on canvas

Museum, Amsterdam

IN

TWO

DIMENSIONS)

nches (80

.

62


SUPREMATIST COMPOSITION 1915.

oil

on canvas, 2 7 Vie

x

23%

Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Ludwig ML 1620

148

inches (70 x 60 cm) Collection


SUPREMATISM 1915,

oil

Stedelijk

A7675

150

on canvas.

1

7

'/;

x

14 inches (44.5

Museum. Amsterdam

i

35.5 cm)


SUPREMATISM (SUPREMUS NO SO) 191 5. Oil on iinvjs, J8i > 26 inches Stedel'jk

A7663

151

Museum. Amsterdam

(97


SUPREMATIST PAINTING 1915.

oil

Stedehjk

A7681

152

on canvas. 40

x

24%

Museum, Amsterdam

inches (101 5

«

62 cm)


•-'-

vv

SUPREMATISM: LARGE BLACK TRAPEZIUM AND RED SQUARE AMONG RECTANGLES AND LINES 1915, pencil on graph paper, 6

'/«

x 4'/< inches (15.7 x 10 8

Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga, Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

GMB69

154

4.2001(34)

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DRAWING RELATED TO HOUSE UNOER CONSTRUCTION 1915. penc.l on papt found..-

'

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GMA36

155

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SUPREMATISM CIRCLE

AMONG RECTANGLES

AND TRIANGLES 1915, pencil over traces of erased sketch on graph paper, 4'/. x 6'/;

inches (11,2 x 16.6 cm)

Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga, Amsterdam/Stedrii|i Museum, Amsterdam

GMB88

156

4.2001(35)


'

c^f^tr ft*

i

i

P^^v^*.

SUPREMATISM: SENSATION OF TIME 1915. pencil on graph paper. â&#x20AC;¢

.

10 8 cm)

Foundation Cultural Center

Khan

Amsterdam/Stedeli|t Museum. Amsterdam

GMB119

157

4 20


COMPOSITION

12 R

1915, pencil on graph paper,

6%

x 4Va inches (16.3 x 11.2 cm)

Private collection, courtesy Galerie

158

Gmurzynska, Zug


SUPREMATISM: NONOBJECTIVE COMPOSITION 1915,

oil

Museum Inv.

on canvas, 31

No. ZhR-397

160

VS

x 31

'A

inches (80 x 80 cm)

of Fine Arts, Ekaterinburg


SUPREMATISM 1915, Stale Inv

oil

Russian Museum.

No ZhB-1408

161

nches (80 5

on canvas St

Petetsbuto,

-


SUPREMATISM 1915,

oil

on canvas, 34

State Russian Inv

Museum,

No. ZhB-1332

162

VS

St.

«

28%

inches (87.5 x 72 cm)

Petersburg


SUPREMATISM (SUPREMUS NO. 1916,

oil

on canvas, 31

Regional Art Inv

Museum

No Zh-358

164

Vi

F.A.

x 31

V:

55)

inches (80 x 80 cm)

Kovalenko, Krasnodar


'

V m

â&#x20AC;¢

SUPREMATISM (SUPREMUS NO 1916.

oil

on on.

S6)

28 inches (80

burg Inv

165

No ZhB-1421

5


-

* '

/" DYNAMIC SUPREMATISM (SUPREMUS NO1916, Tate

oil

on canvas, 31

cm)

Modern, London, Purchased with assistance from the

Friends of the Tate Gallery

T02319

166

57)

V« x 31 Ve inches (80.2 x 80.3

1978


YELLOW AND BLACK (SUPP.EMUS NO 1916.

oil

on

Stale Russian

i

Museum.

ZhB-1687

167

Si

Petersburg

58)


SUPREMATIST COMPOSITION 1915-16, pencil on graph paper, 4'/« * 5"/.

inches (10 7

x 14.6

cm)

Private collection, courtesy Galerie

168

Gmurzynska, Zug


I

COMPOSITION I6, pencil

11

on

R ;

â&#x20AC;¢urteiy

169

Gait"* Cm..


SQUARE AND OVAL (CONSTRUCTION ca

20

I)

1915-16, pencil on graph paper,

4»/. x

6V, inches (11.2

Museum

Dep Slg.L 1979/46

170

x 16.3

cm)

Ludwig, Cologne, Ludwig Collection


SUPREMATISM: HORIZONTALLY DIVIDED 1916. pencil on graph paper. 5

cm)

Foundation Cultural Center Khan] Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum. Amsterdam

GMB75

171

4 20C


UNTITLED (STUDY FOR SUPREMUS NO 1916, pencil on paper, SVs x

4'/n

Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Ludwig Dep.Slg.L. 1979/48

172

55)

inches (16 8 x 10.6 cm) Collection


UNTITLED (SUPREMATIST COMPOSITION) ca

1916.

oil

on canvas,

20'/n x 20'/« inches (53 x 53

Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice 249.35

174

cm)


I


-^"S Tr~+*r^jr[j*m2 iu%. :grg

DYNAMIC SUPREMATISM on canvas.

1916,

oil

40'/4x

26%

Museum ML 1294

176

inches (102.4 x 66.9 cm)

Ludwig, Cologne, Ludwlg Collection


SUPREMATIST PAINTING 1916.

on canvas.

oil

27 Stedehjk

A7664

177

H

inches (88.

71

Museum. Amsterdam


SUPREMATIST PAINTING 1916-17,

oil

on canvas,

38'/i x 26'/» inches (97.8 *

The

Museum

confirmed

of

in

Modern

819.35

178

New

York, Acquisition

1999 by agreement with the Estate of

Kazimir Malevich and the Mrs. John

66 4 cm)

Art,

made

possible with funds from

Hay Whitney Bequest (by exchange)


CONSTRUCTION

12

Q

1916, pencil on graph paper,

6%

x 4 Vb inches (16.7 x 11

cm)

Private collection, courtesy Galerie

180

Gmurzynska, Zug


SUPREMATISM SENSATION OF THE ELECTRON 1916, pencil on graph paper, 6Vi x 4 inches (15.4 x 10 cm)

Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga, Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

GMB68

182

4 2001141)


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':

y\ .<~.W u «>i."«W' .i

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*t»

5UPREMUS NO

38

1916. pencil on graph paper, I

K

inches (16 2

-

II.;

Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga. Amsterdam/Stedeli|k Museum. Amsterdam

GMA33

183

4

200K9S)


^^n

SUPREMATISM: CONSTRUCTIVE (COMPOSITIONS

MOMENTUM

10 T)

1917, pencil on graph paper, 4V» x 6V. inches (10.5

x 16.7

cm)

foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga, Amsterdam/Stedeli|k Museum. Amsterdam

GMB45

184

4 2001(44)


SUPREMUS NO.

18

1916-17. pencil on paper. nches (17 8

.

22 cm)

The Judith Roth&child Foundation.

185

New

York


/

SUPREMUS NO.

58

J>

WITH YELLOW AND BLACK

(PRELIMINARY STUDY) 1916, pencil on graph paper, 4'/« x 6'/>

inches (10.6 x 15.5 cm)

Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga, Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

GMB101 4.2001(40)

186

'"t »*•*


M

.."i-

**"'-

SUPREMATIST DIAGONAL CONSTRUCTION 79

(SUPREMUS NO

79)

1917. pencil on paper.

The

Museum med

m

of

134

231

35a

187

Jot

b

20

1999 by agreemeni

Kaztmir Malevich and madi ihe Mrs

s

515cm)

Modern « •••

ol


STUDY FOR A COSMIC ARRANGEMENT ca.

1917, pencil on paper, 8Vs x 4

Museum

Dep.Slg.L 1979/31

188

Ve

inches (22

Ludwig, Cologne, Ludwig Collection

>


DISSOLUTION OF A PLANE 1917,

oil

on canvas,

S2'/« x

30 J/< inches (133

Private collection, courtesy Galerie

190

x 78

cm)

Gmurzynska, Zug


SUPREMATIST PAINTING 1917-18, 41

>/«

x

Stedelijk

A7670

192

oil

27

(4

on canvas. inches (106

x

70.5 cm)

Museum, Amsterdam


SUPREMATISM NO. 55 (SPHERIC EVOLUTION OF A PLANE) 1917,

oil

on canvas, 2554

x

19 inches (65.6x48.2 cm)

Kawamura Memorial Museum Sakura, Japan

194

of

Modern

Art,


SUPREMATISM: THREE INTERSECTING PLANES, FADING/SUPREMATISM: FOUR INTERSECTING PLANES, FADING (PLANES

IN

DISSOLUTION)

1917, pencil on graph paper,

6%

x 8'/. inches

(173

x

20.7cm)

Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga, Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

GMA14

196

4.2001(56)


SUPREMATISM TWO INTERSECTING PLANES. FADING/SUPREMATISM THREE INTERSECTING PLANES. FADING (PLANES IN DISSOLUTION) 1917. pencd on grapr

Foundation Cultural Cfntc

Amsterda

197


s

_^-i

,

n r o'v i

.

rfi

5UPREMATISM: INTERSECTING PLANES, FADING (PLANES

IN

DISSOLUTION)

1917, pencil on graph paper,

6%

* 8V. inches (17.3 x 20,7

cm)

Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga, Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

GMA15

198

4,2001(57)


DYNAMIC SUPREMATISM (SPHERIC EVOLUTION OF A PLANE) 1918. pencil on paper.

IH inches (15 8

12

Foundation Cultural Cent*

cml

I

-

Amsterdam/Stedeliik Muieu"

GMB86

199

4 2001(50)

haga.


SUPREMATIST COMPOSITION: WHITE ON WHITE 1918, oil on canvas, 31« x 31% inches (79.4 x 79.4 cm) The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Acquisition confirmed in

1999 by agreement with the Estate of Kazimir Malevich

and made possible with funds from the Mrs. John Hay Whitney Bequest (by exchange) 817 35

200


SUPP.EMATIST PAINTING

(WHITE PLANES 1917-18, Stedelijk

A7666

202

oil

IN

DISSOLUTION)

on canvas, 38%

x

Museum, Amsterdam

27

Vi

inches (97

>

70 cm)


SUPREMATISM (CONSTRUCTION 1918, Steo>

A766S

203

oil

on

IN

DISSOLUTION)


ALPHA ARCHITEKTON

BETA ARCHITEKTON

1920 (1925-26).

ca.

12%

x

31%

x

State Russian Inv

13%

inches (31

Museum,

No Ck-2052

204

plaster,

St,

5x80.5

Petersburg

x

34 cm)

1926, reconstructed by Poul Pedersen

10%

x

23

x 39'/. inches (27 3 x 59.5 x

in

1978, plaster,

99 3 cm)

national d'art moderne. Centre Georges Pompidou, Pans

Musee Inv

'/i

AM

1978-877


>


GOTA

SUPP.EMATIST ARCHITEKTON

1923. reconstructed 33V4

«

Musee Inv

18*

«

22*

in

1926. plaster and wood.

1989. plaster.

inches (85 2

.

48

»

58 cm)

national dart moderne. Centre Georges Pompidou. Parts

AM

1978-878

Museum ludwia. Cologne ML 1310

207


Br

y f i


SUPREMATIST ORNAMENTS 1927. reconstructed by Poul Pedersen 15)4 inches (45

Musee Inv

«

in

1978. plaster.

40 cm)

national d'art moderne. Centre Georges Pompidou. Pans

AM

1978-881

SUPREMATIST ARCHITECTURAL MODEL 1927, (86

.

i

30

.

30 2 cm)

State Treliakov Gallery

209

Moscow


FUTURE PLANITS (HOUSES) FOR EARTH DWELLERS (PEOPLE) 1923-24. pencil on paper, State Russian PC-

10482

210

Museum,

St

1

7

V4

x

1

2

V«

Petersburg

inches (44 x 30.8 cm)


7&

H^ my,


fr)A-f/U«ji

w]_

ft&oPaMLtUL

&p-'<*-

U&. fjLop^lu/M^

J>

I—

h*km\

v- ?

'-"V"'"^

14/"..

J^Q^i^

fyM /'»•-

TABLE NO.

14

I.

FORMULA OF SUPREMATISM

1925-26, walercolor and pencil on paper,

ca

Va x

21%

inches (36 x 54 cm)

State Russian Inv.

Museum,

No. Pb-23163

212

St.

Petersburg

fa> JU)%-

Oft

_,


TABLE

NO

3

SPATIAL SUPP.EMATISM

â&#x20AC;¢098

213


*

(l I*-) **«•

l<*

.'''«(WhV

Cf+fuj

MODERN BUILDINGS 1923-24, pencil on paper, 1

4

V« x

21

Stedelijk

A7688

214

'/.

inches (36 x 53.5 cm)

Museum, Amsterdam

;i«

^

/ly-tHSM

~.

r .».

(tt


CONSTRUCTION TWO VIEWS ca

1925-26. pencil

01

Courtesy o( the Busch-Retsmge' Aft

Museums. Cambn

honor of D'

2000 242

215

"


SUPREMATIST DESIGN (AERIAL VIEW OF A LANDSCAPE WITH SUPREMATIST ELEMENTS) ca

1928, pencil on paper,

Museum

Dep.Slg.L 1979/34

216

7>/« x 7

inches (20 x

Ludwig, Cologne, Ludwig Collection

17.i


'

^


FABRIC

ORNAMENT

NO. 15

1919, watercolor and pencil on paper, 14

10

«

V.

inches (35

State Russian Inv.

No Pc-973

218

6x27

Museum,

St,

cm) Petersburg


'

,

>vu

t7.fo.it.>-

>.:>

^

'

,V

FABRIC

219

ORNAMtNT


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JwVu>>] C^H^u^ 6l£~u

Mi etJM

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£04* cu-.

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/1Z/)

A**- *

Uftz^lsJ

DESIGN FOR A SUPREMATIST DRESS 1923, watercolor on paper, 7VS x

6%

inches (19 x 17 cm)

State Russian Inv.

Museum,

No PcB-33

220

St.

Petersburg


k

' 1* fx^cttwAft U6J Uctfl^J,A

<Z444t<ru i+^U<frij

fa

JpUj/tj^

f

(tM*/l*£t

-6

Ji* etjMsy^u+4J^^vLl~

DESIGN FOR A SUPREMATIST DRESS pencil

Slate Ru

RcB-979

221

on paper.


CUP 1923, porcelain. 2'/. x

4'/8 x 2Va inches (7.2 x

State Russian

Museum,

St.

12.5x6 cm)

Petersburg

Cf-27

CUP 1923, porcelain, 2 Vi x 4'/i x IV, inches (6.1 x 11 x 5.3

State Russian

Cf-517

222

a

Museum,

St

cm)

Petersburg


CUPS AND SAUCER

223


TEAPOT AND

LID

1923, porcelain,

6%

x

8%

x

3'/;

State Russian

Cf-1344

224

a,

b

inches (16 x 22.2 x 8.8 cm)

Museum,

St.

Petersburg


SUPREMATISM OF THE MIND (SUPREMATISM OF THE SPIRIT) 1920, 7

1

t

oil

Stedehjk

4.2001

226

on panel,

1514 inches (55.6 x 38 7 cm)

Museum, Amsterdam/lnstituut

(1)

SSB/SK

Collectie Nederland, Ri|swi|k


1


SUPREMATISM (HIERATIC SUPREMATI5T CROSS) 1920-21, Stedeli|k

A7662

228

oil

on canvas.

33'/. x

Museum, Amsterdam

27ft inches (84

x

69 5 cm)


SUPREMATISM (WHITE SUPREMATIST CROSS) 1920. oil on canvas. 34* » 27 inches (88 » 68 5 Stedelgk

A7667

229

Museum, Amsterdam

cm)


SUPREMATISM (MYSTIC SUPREMATISM) 1920-22,

28

Vi

Stedelijk

A7669

230

oil

on canvas,

x 20'/. inches (72.5 x 51

cm)

Museum, Amsterdam


SUPREMATISM (MYSTIC SUPREMATISM) 1920-22.

oil

on canvas. ihes (100 5

Stedeh|k

A7668

231

»

60 cm)

Museum. Amsterdam


SUPREMATISM: FEMALE FIGURE 1928-29,

oil

49V4 x 41

'A

on canvas, inches (126 x 106 cm)

State Russian

Zh-9493

232

Museum,

St.

Petersburg


LIFT

SUPREMATISM: FEMALE FIGURE 1928-29.

oil

33

ft

14

x

1

8

on plywood. inches (84 5

x

Museum.

St.

Slate Russian

48 cm) Petersburg

Zh-9397

A80VE FIGURE WITH

ARMS SPREAD FORMING A CROSS

1930-31, pencil on paper. !4Vk

x

8%

inches (36

«

22 S cm)

Museum Ludwig. Cologne. ludwig DepSlgL 1979/41

233

Collection


SUPREMATIST COMPOSITIONS (COMPOSITIONS ca

1917, pencil on paper,

6'/< x 8'/s

Museum DepSlg.L

234

inches (17

2x20.7 cm)

Ludwig, Cologne, Ludwig Collection

1979/29

1

E)


t

rc(N


UNTITLED (BLACK FACE AND

ORTHODOX

CROSS)

1930-31, pencil on paper, 14

x

SV, inches (35 5 x 22 cm)

Museum Dep.Slg.L

236

Ludwig, Cologne. Ludwig Collection

1979/33


HEAD (FACE WITH ORTHODOX CROSS) 1930-31. pencil on paper,

14W x 8H inches (35 8 x 22 5 cm) Museum Ludwig. Cologne. ludwig DepSlg

237

L

1979/56

Collection


bk+ €**m*~ JL6+4 -£*JI<ujui-.

Ufa if

tux***-

%« 9An^

n/k^ru^^ t+S-

MALEVICH'S STATEMENT TO THE COLLEGIUM OF THE FINE ARTS DEPARTMENT, MAY 16. 1919 Courtesy Vasiln Rakitin

_


30

D O n c

7/>e

following information

Inna A. Vakhar

and

was

N

Tatiana

Vospomnia

A V

conscious relationship to other

is

Vasilii

by

Karasik,

I

I

A Shumov, and A D

Lebedeva,

Sarabianov.

Adam

close the horizon, to

we can

new

is

existence

feel that

I

now

movements

come together on

haul up the

the time that out

of our egos

we must

the edge of the horizon

in

2002

order to put into place the

new

differed, we have cited our own When known, works by Malevich listed in the

universe of our perfection.

Our hearing must be

Malewicz Catalogue Raisonne,

Paris:

Biro,

Where our research findings

we must

yes,

of the infinite

occasionally benefited from Andrei Nakov, Kazimir

and towards each

produce the shore onto which

Rakitin also contributed original material In addi-

with regards to exhibitions, our research

it

very important, as this unity should close

the horizon

2 volumes. Moscow: RA, 2003

Kntika.

Povelikhma, A.

tion,

to

from

Malevich

,

o sebe Sovremenniki o Maleviche. Pisma Dokumenty (forthcoming). Includes notes

m

largely excerpted

Mikhienko, eds

commentaries,

when not

existence

of specific

direct critiques

of Suprematism

exhibitions, address related questions

new

keen enough to hear the whispers of the

The cited

exhibition checklist or catalogue are given

existence of the

ourselves

in

movement

— we must not miss a

single

or whisper of the perfection that

is

MATTHEW DRUTT within us. Let us be attentive and pensive as a

1.

Letter

from Malevich to Mikhail

Matiushin, ca. January 21-28, 1920, Vitebsk

Read

it

in

own

your

new

order of consent

how

entire

moving. Look at

closed circle without any

there

is

how

a veritable

battle for their

"outsiders" present

is

approaching. Observe

columns and dust clouds of egos are they

move and observe

war and

own

egos.

fear

among them

Do you see

that in

a

a mysteri-

ous hand squeezing the atmosphere? Nobody Dear Denizens of Pesochnaya

My

dear Mikhail Vasilievich,

receive your letter

and

sees

Street,'

I

was

very happy to

happy that the

I'm also

works of your workshop 2 have attracted attention

and achieved

new

a

perfection. 3

to you for a long time, but

1

also hadn't received

I

— why

anything from you either

haven't written

is

that? Thus

we don't write to each because we create perfection

happens that haps

selves, or

seek

reason

why we

and

felt.

become

Do you the

life

happen.

I

can already see

hands of ism;

now

millions of

of the brain that

each other again. But

we

will

see

how

beings

made

collide with us. Thus,

we

existence must give signs of

it

how

the

will

human come the new

to each other be-

we are pulling the sweep net in order to new ones for the new existence. The unity

that unites us

to each

is

within us. The relationship of this

one of

us,

its

nature,

and our

a line has flashed it

— the

the square has been covered

will

pioneers of

life

it:

with faceted plants without a single crooked or

never encounter

distant by consciousness

so,

everything has risen up and

not be true because

even within the world of the heads of

If

established as the perfection of squares,

the infinite passage-

this will

infin-

egos of personal individual-

concerning our where-

in

new

universe?

by and millions of hands have grasped

further, see

is

see the

new

keen glance because something remarkable

within our-

their perfections. This

diverge to such an extent

unity

will

can be

will

become

abouts and experiences. Perhaps our paths

catch

cast a

it

don't write to each other and

don't give any signs of

cause

but

which has many hallways and folds con-

brain,

and

it

which

other," per-

within the moist recesses of our

it

taining universes

ways

it

ity,

MALEVICH, AlEKSEI

MOSCOW,

ca

State Russian

MORGUNOV AND

1913(7)

Museum.

239

Si

Petersburg


dented

what

line;

is

what

the structure,

it

that

grows and moves

is

the

individualistic

The new existence has entered the

subject to?

dimension, and personal individualism has

fifth

been confronted by the transformed

economy

that

is

and

this

Now

victory over time.

see

I

I

whose

in I

faces

them

divide

learned to

I've

into perfections,

enter through the gates of the World;

I

And

my

so

thing, but

I

infinite

dear friends,

— there

have seen

moistness of our brain.

economy and

established

and through

now

look for

you

in

yourselves.

in

it

and our

As you are my

it.

your essence and

my words, as they are who is disappearing in

much

so

in

I

unity

now want

the sounds

all

to

only

lie

friends,

want you

I

the

line of

I

will

made by one

the distance so that your

my

Now we Rally

astounded that

who

left

I

left

Moscow, but

— something carried me

inside of

me.

I

leg weren't functioning.

I

was taken

necessary for

my

because there

me, and I

am

now

working

can't

walk

side,

but

was not

As was vigorous, I

to

essence.

much

is

it

it

It

Vitebsk. 6

that has to

a desk

I

write is

I

can.

a great deal of pain

my hand and

leg are stronger

I

in

We

theater.

now

are

putting

are organizing

Moscow. 8

in

Vitebsk a Youth Art

in

My

friends

and

send you the book

We

will also participate.

I

few days There

the next

in

ten

down

just as

like to

I

spoke and published.

see you very

thoughts with you. There

you and would

tell

can

I

do

it?

must

I

much and much

I

want

in

to

how

down, and cannot

wish that

I

book and wind up

that

my

could turn into

I

Olga Konstantmovna's

"outsiders" (no matter

own circle, without any how nice they may seem)

present, however, you

may

victory of I

your

letter in

tell

them about the

Suprematism.

embrace

all

Regards to Pavel Nikolaevich

something that I'm writing about.

me to come and

read

it,

but

to send you It

of

and

But the roads are horrible.

the basis of

my

now.

I

have written 55 pages about movement and

LETTERS

artistic

of the

life

it's

taught and organized the "party"

city,

and

philosophical led to

somewhat

sent to M. is

the

first

Matiushin after

V.

its

his

Economy forms World

instruments, etc

arms. This

move

his

letter,

to Vitebsk,

detailed exposition by Malevich of the

ideas that concerned him the most 1.

M. V

Matiushin

lived

Pesochnaya Street with

home was

his

in

nearby,

2.

in

Petrograd on

wife

K.

10

Gromozova; his stu-

arms. Filonov also lived on

in

move

the time. Malevich planned to

and

1918, he took a room at 33

in

Street, apt. 5.

Academy

1918, the

In

his

the center of gravity for

dents and comrades

became the

of Arts

Petrograd

in

State Free Higher Art Educational

Workshops and Malevich was made head workshop. Since he permanently

of a

Moscow,

lived in

he would freguently ask Matiushin to substitute for

him during

absences Soon

his

and Malevich ested

in its

visited frequently,

Malevich

was

Gershenzon's

book

3.

Matiushin

after,

of the workshop,

remaining

inter-

work.

M.

by

influenced

The

Image of

Threefold

and incorporated "perfection"

From

1913

Moscow, where he

1916

to

lived in

Matiushin

received letters from Malevich,

considerably. vich

who

regularly

shared

his

The close contacts between Male-

to Petrograd

See "Statute

1919.

Its first

an unheated

1917-19,

theoretical ideas. In

and Matiushin were renewed

moved 5.

and

A

the

summer

of Art," written

thesis is

in

after Malevich

of 1922.

November

announced: "The

being established"

"0 novykh sistemakh

October of 1919 Malevich moved from famine-

AND DOCUMENTS

first

between

the frequency of the correspondence dwindled

invited

(IV.)

stricken

which at

of an estrangement in

and wrote

Art)

theoretical works,

former friends and comrades

omy) dimension

In

New

Unovis (the Affirmers of the

unfeasible

me

ideas about everything; the

and the movement,

Note

the intensive

in

creative plans

still

my

move-

ment. Malevich took part

would be

through the Government Academy to present a lecture.

tism as an artistic current and philosophical

4.

me

like

was

me

of food. Vitebsk

Malevich's arena for spreading Suprema-

into his basic concepts.

You write that you would

for

became

Perfection (1918),

of you,

Yours, K. Malevich

good

pregnant wife, to Vitebsk

his

became the permanent head

warehouse. 10

Read the

with

where there was no shortage

Pesochnaya share

to accomplish. But

like

travel sitting

stand for a long time. a

is

wooden house

this street at

lectures, writ-

now. The only way would be to have

come out

me behind as much as

Army

the end the Red

in

nor-

had to preserve

has placed

— there

This

in

The book consists of one of my

I

strug-

I

went back to

decorated

have been delays with the cover. 9

— something

was bedridden, my hand and my

gled for a long time; everything

mal and

off

the

and commemorating the anniversary of the

School. will

were

You

situation.

were

plant

style. All

consolation to the Fine [Arts] reaction

Now

present

Suprematist

in

together an album of photographs to send as a

echo may be heard

About

with

a gathering of the

by hanging a Suprematist cur-

in

huge

tain in their

to see

ponder

the

of

also joined

I'd

as the fifth dimension

it

of our perfection, 5 our path in

is

have seen the

I

men

overcoming.

haven't invented any-

I

was

Art, as a

union councils of factories and plants,

Suprematist style and

have

I

seen the concordance of millions of elements that

form the instruments of

trade

New

appeared

workers

the

Suprematist banners; there

its

it,

I

read the signs, and for

always was,

now understand our correlation to now how wizened the old world is; and now see

two moving egos

which

of

result

lectured a great deal,

I

debates, restored the

in

buildings

understand

I

took part

book on individualism and the

a

collective. 7

now also when they

understand the

I

ego and the

which was decorated

it is

it

economy and

to the per-

must be revealed, seen and

it

meaning of Suprematism; now line;

that has

moving towards that great perfec-

also be seen as tion

path of perfection;

but

will be;

way

the

obtain existence only

all will

along

travel

is

and everybody;

fection of everything clear that

economy

line of

egos into Collective Individualism;

all

now clear

it is

ego

fifth

(K.

v iskusstve Statika

Malevich. I

skorosf

Ustanolvlenie A." Vitebsk, 1919.) 6.

L.

M.

Lissitzky

15,

(econ-

took Malevich to Vitebsk.


7.

The

"On the ego and the

treatise

appeared

first

issued

in

May 1920

in

1,

Vitebsk with a print run of

Malevich called "the reaction" the change

in

the leadership of the Department of Fine Arts

Commissariat

the

of

(IZO)

Education (Narkompros)

who was

was replaced by Later Malevich

D.

P.

.."

right

Moscow

of

9.

A

s

El

Tatlin,

division of IZO,

,

M

Bnk

after be-

surrendered to the

IZO,

Pisma Kazimira Malevicha Puninu. M., 2000,

1919,

write: "Tatlin

June 17, 1924,

(Letter to Lissitzky,

.

People's

Shterenberg and 0.

would

coming the head

April

In

the head of the

the

for

Lissitskomu

in

Nikolaiu

I

end

tail

Committee of

May

the downfall of the old world of the

arts

be etched on the palms of your hands.

no

will

art will

change as a

All

change the world.

new form

new and down

with

of structure. Archi-

and sculpture have suffocated beneath

the plumb of economy;

the eternal revolu-

plumb

tionary tion

is

and the answer.

How

queer the

of

lifes

still

new world

new

images on

of constructions.

the plans for the

new

as such

is

clear.

and human freedom have

communist form

the creative form

moved

under the yoke of deformed meaning of past

art;

have before us the exhibition of the

these are not aesthetic glossy canvases

but the path of painting, of movement, of

light

towards the objective world. Observe the move-

ment

up

of the

new

as you

would the processing

ore or cotton at factories and plants. Here ore, but here

is

the brass, the smelting

form, and the object.

sail

And

we

so

we

on the

We

new

ships of the

not

dis-

we

shall

turn of events,

and Rosta

turn of events

movements

informs us of the

paigns.

new

are studying the

are following the

of the red every day

care not about Napoleon's

cam-

have a Rosta of the

of

movements and events and be the Rosta of the

arts,

its

newspaper

let this first

arts.

However, what we, the innovators of the

arts

incomprehensible to the dwarves of the

is

is

pit,

of

the the

and

man"

of the old world of pastorals

complex Verocchio. They

lovers of

God

and

Kazan

of

Monastery!

Oh

arts.

you and naked you

are,

The faces of the

saints of

must be new; there silized obelisk

is

is

no

creativity

is

clear that

when

erected on the square.

it

the fos-

We should

not resemble our fathers. Their faces, palaces, and splendid a thousand times over

not inhabit them

will

our own, our

new world and

thus

we

killing

the "venerable old

the "venerable old the

men"

men"

liberated youth.

of classicism

Kill

and erect

new world. Keen-ones, set up the headquarnew structures and set up the new world

on narrow

lest

Venuses

lifeless streets

rise

up from the dead

as shall rise

backyards, and the young shoots

up Pompeian

will suffocate.

The banner of the red Unovis has been and

it

awaits you,

let

Idlers.

The

without discovering the

ters of

without delay

Narkompros.

will

and

new sense. Moscow Cave

the

in

the

priests of the

dead

the arts are farsighted That eccentric

money for

of the Kazan

the dead

carried the banners of the red revolution,

covered

monasteries have been revealed by approval of the

to get

shall

Kiev-Cave

the old sense have been torn from

rizas of

We

not be peddlers of antiques

life

The

Oh

Suzdal.

revered, saintly protectors of the

forces are liberated; from this

it

carry their

and want the young

world to be the guardians of the open mothers of

youth from prejudices and oppression; creative

The innovators of the economic conditions of

has arrived

new

bless-

arrived

of creches, freeing

not wear the forms of Greece and Rome;

We

have young aeroplanes and moto

old world under the red shield

will build

The youth of the world

shall

constructions?

Suprematism to a new Suprematist construction

how

is

Roman

country, as radio towers talk with the world.

objective "old

on submarines. From whose canvases

Through the nonobjectivism of the color plans of

can see

them

horses with parchment letters to another

fast

zeppelin or Cezanne's pears. Imagine painterly

new meaning

ages

con-

currents, for in

We have submarines. We do

say

but our

Now we

patch

new

are not learning to ride in

not learning to

Imagine Shishkin's landscapes on the walls of a

when

of the objective world

We are

and hour and

Time; construct canvases; from the direction of

may be

become extinguished

this

by

so, create

of the inventor. Hence, the ques-

temples

has

be changed by

And

the coffin of classicism. The path of painting it

will

The innovators of the "economic-grub

the efforts of painting were directed towards

tecture

It

the almighty economic being.

ings" of rights

— an unnecessary aesthetic sauce.

the creation of a

and

result of descriptions

for the

we we

old Saracens.

at the

the creation of the

Our schools our youth;

not be embellished nor beautifully described; nothing

red [beautiful]

squares.

chariots as

fly

live

dead

overthrow the obelisks

them on the

for

1,

October 3

Long

as

we will

and

arts

no place

is

cars.

culture

painterly culture

little

there

pears as the ruler of the world. There are no arts

structions

State Art Workshops, No.

is

in

new

the

as the inventions are beautifully logical, they need

the walls of the Bulletin of the Executive

artist

these canvases shall take flight plans for

reference to the "Bulletin of the Executive

Moscow

he doesn't record

of events;

the

in

as a tattooed Papuan. The inventor of form ap-

b Published by A. Shatskikh.)

Committee."

2.

new form

From now on the painter no longer works

sketches the drama of forces; the

five copies. 8.

Today the painter has pointed to the

collective,"

Almanac Unovis No.

the

in

inventing a utilitarian

new

of the

wants

monument,

sense (see

mothers— journal

alley of

Tatlin

new

sense

artistic life

of

alley)

Comrades,

rid

yourselves of your prejudices;

open the doors and come out and tery to the old

Unovises of the

and arts.

life

say:

the ceme-

to the new. Set

Enough

up

red

of obelisk tombstones

commune;

on the

beautiful

form

for inscriptions of funeral parlors but not for

is

live

squares of the

the words of the constitution of the

Long K.

live

red art

Malevich

raised

us create a worldwide army of

241

new

on the new squares,

life

their


Notes

location

(V.R.)

Malevich's article reads Unovis.

like

a manifesto of Red

The appearance of such an

article in a stu-

dent magazine might seem strange

(as

intonation and vocabulary). Yet

is

logical in the

in

1920, which

it

general context of the art scene

changed

was

and was

swiftly

might

its

of conflicts. There

full

a struggle of the traditionalists against the

and heroes of the new

aesthetics

schism

There was a

art.

the ranks of the proponents of

in

new

art

— Mertvy [Dead] Lane. The endless

bicker-

his

for that reason the attitude

to

organizers of the exhibition

just

Tower

—a

monument

utilitarian

according

Malevich to the Third International David

Shterenberg,

Department, was

head of the Fine Arts

that

The magazine was

me,

horrified.

Moscow.

in

As secretary of the All-Russian

Committee of Students

Central

1918-19

the

in

Second Free Art Studios

the

in

had

he

Education,

VKhUTEMAS, newly First

influence

in

created by combining the

"everything

claiming

apprentices, .

.

letter to

whose

were

in

sent to

St.

Petersburg, and others

who

the hands of those

send

.

all

the material you have" (type-

Moscow from

in

was being done tracts,

who had moved

put together the

was the

in

Marxism.

How

and sundry,

the

politicized

Moscow Communo-Suprematists be

joined with

including

can

social

but he was only partly

like

living

red

revolutionary

a poetic text.

struggles

sound

demagoguery. Malevich was being

the

past

— the

destroy them. zhizn (Art

Life),

efforts to preserve

Civil

War was

I.

museum figures The who had initiated

Grabar,

of the unique restoration projects of those

What had

—the

Bolshevik

Party.

opinion on the issue

in

Party

in

Art

in

opponents

in

VKhUTEMAS.

The

civil

in

the

in

refers

to the

magazine was used by

the end, Malevich

his in

was never

articles

its

laconic poster style

— Malevich

—was

becoming

ROST Windows

of

Letter

Shterenberg, February

16, 1921,

will

I

have heard rumors to the effect that you are

LETTERS

regarding

this.

official

According to what

AND DOCUMENTS

now

I

or otherwise is

being said,

in

these works from the exhi-

why

cannot bring them,

I

Vitebsk.

If

manifestos,

articles,

two

is

it

— the

the catalogue,

In

I

etc., call

if

it

if

think that you, like the others, have power,

time you

sible for

me

not want to circumvent me, but

to participate

ciples in art, in

will

you want to send other things,

I

it

will

be impos-

and having High

Prin-

ask you too to have High Principles

regard to myself

groups

since

it

will

take part

have to be

will

the exhibition, then

in

represented, 5 and

fully

hasn't received any official papers, is

sons.

warn you

to

I'd like

stifle

it

is

being done for ideological rea-

clear that this

that (such] attitudes

who

strive,

a

and

good end,

under different

principles always lose, this has

historically

You David Petrovich are

have not received anything

an appropriately named

all is

come from

be no

been proven Dear David Petrovich,

two,

three, then the Black Square, the Black

pretexts to

Vitebsk

organizing an exhibition abroad,' but up to

also an object of ridicule, especially since the

which

on the contrary those

from Malevich to David

to

about

4

can't

I

is

it

of

by

four.

underhanded dealings never come to

was

in

all,

my

if

if

Suprematism, 1913. Russia

this

dated.

sarcastic

The journal Khudozhestvennaia

were

the

article,

ancient Russian art and did not publish Malevich,

editorial offices

If

Kreiter has

there

like

moments

threatening

which published

war, with

3

still,

his

1921

works,

Black Square, 2) Black

1)

and white squares.

January

my

Four Cross-like Planes and 4) White

black

the behind-the-scenes struggle In

bition

after

ask to exhibit:

I

3)

Square

"

a seditious

four,

If

Circle,

one

Malevich gave

decided to

all

by two, then by

if

and the White Square.

But probably the very fact Malevich's text was published

three;

the

ideological as well as

Circle

Vitebsk publication, Path of Unovis

"About a

my

the Organization

By then, there could be only

of a Party"

you have

if

exhibition,

any case do not send more than

Shterenberg was

frightened

"Why We Are for

Senkin's article

3.

about the heroic

of his article,

Shterenberg was no

right.

the attacks on Art Life and

my

three, then

was because

it

in

has not

Everything

light of day.

moral conditions are to send four of

If

commune." The

artistic

October Cubed.

it

course, everybody will be represented by four;

Unovis

gravestone obelisks on

echoes of intramural

own

its

Unovis turned out to be unviable. The era of the

establish red Unovises of arts.

demagoguery sounded

launched

me to the

send

now

time regarding the exhibi-

this

tion abroad. Therefore,

Enough

them "to

squares of the

Zh.

be arranged

also

asked to teach there, and the idea of a Red

Malevich called on,

putting

and

by

texts

been allowed to see the will

almost ordered,

Vitebsk?

of

only expe-

admirer of Tatlm's Tower. He wasn't concerned by

Vitebsk. Malevich wrote his all

had

Obmokhu

Malevich thought

the capital. Experimental work

which he challenged

in

to

Vitebsk, planned to create a divi-

sion of Unovis

magazine

1920,

year,

publication,

party

Lissitzky,

(the

this

Medunetsky, A. Naumov, and N. Prusakov). That

same

years.

maga-

script, private archive)

Malevich and

Obmokhu

hands of the

the

in

a fight against

on your part was that

action

Kandmsky and company locked my Square

many

is

me and

Schlusselberg fortress 2 and up to

the Vitebsk Unovis pro-

efforts will publish the

begun

of you have

all

first

clear to

is

going to be burned. But a few copies survived;

arrows were aimed at

and Second Free Studios.

Senkin wrote a

zine

great

the

good

isn't particularly

some had been

at the Fine Arts

Department of the People's Commissariat of

that

is

anyone and

towards myself by the

time as well, but one thing

this

rience of a joint statement by Suprematists

year

in late April,

completing work on a model of

was

agreements.

school

be put together

Naturally I've never offered myself to

magazine. Let us note that

student of Malevich's studio

will

He

over aesthetic-ethical and sociophilosophical dis-

The head of the magazine was Sergei Senkin, a

the exhibition

ing with Tatlin continued almost by inertia.

charge, so

in

I

would

urge you to be responsible before history as a statesman. This

is

why

cause you have power,

and

this

is

I

I

am

writing to you, be-

have ideas without power,

why you must do

as

I

ask

in this

note.


Thank you

begun

Thank you

food

for the

my

parcel,

wife has

Kandinsky was also the

bers

Moscow Museum

6

to spit blood

you permit

also that

amateur high school students

in

all

all

sorts of

of the IZO

Square, 1915 (now

in

was placed

MZhK

the

in

head of the

first

The Black

of Painterly Culture.

However,

the State Tretiakov Gallery),

by the Kandinsky com-

meeting of the commis-

departments to put spokes into the wheels of our

mission

new

sion that consisted of Kandinsky, A. Drevm,

art

and methods instead

them. Fridlender and sundry

A

friendly

K.

7

are

like that.

Exhibition

speaks of

the

First

Russian Art

which opened

Berlin,

in

in

October

He found out about the preparations being

1922.

made from

a letter by Lissitzky dated January 22.

"A commission has been organized here

1921:

(the instigators are Shterenberg et

organize

in

al.),

which

is

to

conjunction with the Commissariat of

Foreign Affairs and Vneshtorg, a Russian exhibition abroad.

Russian

judges

The West

is

revolutionary it

"to place

and

R.

two works

terribly interested in

artistic

movement,

in

MZhK"

(RGALI,

f.

665, op.

ed.

1

Khr

6,

I.

Pompidou,

and Black Cross (Centre Georges

Paris),

were most

together at the 0.10 exhibition

made up

exhibited

likely in

Suprematism: 34 Drawings. The White Square

is

dated 1918 (Museum of Modern Art, At the exhibition

tisms of Malevich

the

in

4.

the

exhibited, but the request

was not honored

letter

2.

Petersburg, 2000,

The Schlusselberg

used for the

fortress in St. Petersburg

solitary

confinement of

was

political

and

Kandinsky was the chairman of the Mu-

Vassily

seum

(or

purchasing) Commission at the

Bureau which was organized of the First Purchasing Tatlin,

in

Museum

May 1919

in lieu

Commission, of which

Malevich, and Pavel Kuznetsov were

mem-

worked

restorer,

work

May

in

1920.

exhibitions.

Not mentioned

5.

our workshops.

479-81 rubric

names

Slate Russian

Museum,

Petersburg

In

Arts),

he became the

early 1921

He emigrated

in

1923

p.

work

the

shoddy, etc. (V

is

53)

Aleksandr Georgievich

Romm

(1887-1952),

art

modern Russian and French

historian, specialist in

author of books on Matisse and Rodin, friend

of Chagall.

of IZO

in

1921 he

In

was

the head of the section

charge of the management of culture

the provinces.

He was

critical

of Malevich's

in

work

Letter to Malevich

from Kestner

Gesellschaft, Hanover,

December

30,

1924

Dear Professor Malevich, Leningrad, Pochtamtskaya Street, 9

the Berlin exhibition cata-

in

195-222 and

On

the basis of an

would

like

to ask

initiative

you

Among

the listed partici-

it

by

El

Lissitzky,

would be

we

possible to

Contemporary Arts Culture This exhibition could

Kagan

Hamburg,

and Yermolaieva

(no. 78), in

Unovis

who was

is

(no. 320), their

1921,

of 1925. Please

arranged for the food parcel. (See Pisma

Lissit-

it

Ettingeru. Sostavlenie. Prepara-

would be

tion,

and Notes by Aleksandra Shatskikh

When

in

Moscow

The Vitebsk in

artist

Maks

December 1920 as

plained to Shterenberg about the shoddy

for

several

artists

as

The most

let

us

know

as soon as possible

if

possible to organize such an exhibi-

and how we could

receive

it.

was

a delegate of

provincial sections of the IZO

He proposed

etc.

Krenz Fridlender,

All-Russian Conference of Responsible

Workers of the

Germany such

Respectfully yours,

Malevicha, pp. 52-57.)

7.

First

I

living in

cities in

Braunschweig,

convenient dates for us would be March or April

not mentioned.

Moscow

Berlin,

in

Lissitzky,

parcels

if

the works of the laboratories of the Institute of

of the artists.

the Vitebsk school. St

falling apart,

kruge Malevicha,

then travel to other

the

ARTISTIC CULTURE,

or less

teach only Suprematism, that the work-

shops are

art,

don't

I

organize an exhibition of your works as well as

V kruge

MUSEUM FOR

we

that

was more

it

the exhibition were placed under the

in

tion of text

MALEVICH'S STUDY AT THE

Then he made some provoca-

.

"Vitebsk School" without indicating the

kogo Malevichu

PETROGRAD. 1923

.

pants of the exhibition are ludin (nos. 74-75),

6.

IN

.

statements privately to Shterenberg.

tive

the Exhibition

for

logue of the Unovis, but the works

membership

NDIUA T SCHASCHNIK

sent from Vitebsk. At the confer-

which organized a solo exhibition of Malevich's

head of

criminals.

a

and system of teaching.

Bureau of the IZO (Department of Fine

55)

p.

was

"Fridlender

in

dated December 21, 1920:

Lissitzky

ence he gossiped and made insinuations about

4. St.

from

letter

Kondratievich Kraitor (1881-1957), an

Ivan

artist

were

New

three Suprema-

in Berlin

1917-1922, Moscow,

163) Malevich found out about this

p.

in-

(See Aleksandra Shatskikh,

list.

Vitebsk: Zhizn iskusstva

2001,

1915, and

a series, later reproduced as lithographs

in

York).

this

in

have precise information but

19)

Black Square (Tretiakov Gallery), Black Circle

(evidently lost),

but

only by Kandinsky." (V kruge Malevicha,

the cabinet of experimental technique,

Square)

3

(IV.)

Malevich

was passed

Falk, a resolution

by comrade Malevich (Black Square and Red

handshake,

Malevich

Notes 1

of strengthening

Romms

at a

Malkm, ludovin, and others Malevich was not cluded

com-

work of

to provide food

— Romm,

Fridlender,

Notes (IV) 1

.

The Kestner Gesellschaft

pany founded alities

in

1916 by

of Hanover.

It

— a private

museum and

had a building

at

art

com-

art personits

disposal,

which belonged to the head of the organization, P.

E

Kuppers, and his wife Sophie

243

After her


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

husband's death

1922, Sophie Kuppers con-

in

ducted an independent exhibition the works of

such

Schwitters, Piet

Mondnan and

as

artists

became acquainted with

policy,

Paul

Karl

Klee,

1922 she

others. In

which

art,

work

further advance the

will

of the

Institute of Artistic Culture, the first institution of

kind

its

the world, which

in

will

be established on

was

inspired by Lissitzky.

and

Notes

of the

March

organize,

Petrov,

my comrades have had show

going abroad to

I

consider

their

Western

art of

knowledge.

In

view of

also

of

4/8/25,

I

have worked for

five years at

Below

the Narkompros

sor in the higher art schools. At present

on the establishment of

institute in

at

my

I

am

work-

the area of the science of art and have

number

of

painterly artistic, as well as the laboratory

the institute.

I

A

research laboratory.

its

kind

The success of

this exhibition

German

art

also be seen

who

have come here, and

from the attached

from the German

firm.

be exploited by the firm help

in

this

can

letter of invitation

However, not wishing to I

am

Qlavnauka and to Ginkhuk

.N.

Comrade

Petrov

and

of Artistic

(Institute

On March P.

Kristi,

in

an analogous

which he asks him to

promote

the

organization

let-

inter-

of

the

works of the research

departments of Ginkhuk: Material culture (Head: B. E. Tatlin);

vich);

Formal-Theoretical (Head: K

Organic Culture (Head: M.

Experimental (Head:

P.

V.

works

of the

all

S.

for a

new wave

same

and

artistic

scientific

area namely the

yet been achieved

the area of aesthetics, which there now.

is

It

We

work.

is

Male-

artistic,

should

show

West

the

in

new

of

different

tute by Western experts

of great importance that

the scientific-artistic problem, as this

we

posit

point to

will

the trajectory of our development. I

think that the

and

first scientific

exhibition organized

in

scientific-

Moscow

by Glav-

goals the

its

shown

in

the

type of exhibition abroad. 3

best indicator of

all

of Artistic Culture force

work

now

The

beginning to

to the

The

it

on

posited

the

organic culture, that

attention to

this

is

Institute feel

West and

many

for the first time

questions

in Artistic

Institute of Artistic Culture

and turns to the

Scientific

analysis

can show

it

Mam

Institutions with

is

trip

Culture

Administration of

the request to have

funds issued for the preparation and organization

insti-

to

from Malevich to Glavnauka

ca.

December

To:

Glavnauka

9,

1925'

tion of the exhibition in the West. I

take

it

upon myself

to return this

money out

Moreover,

it

is

imperative that

Artistic

Department

Copy: Leningrad Division of Glavnauka

of the proceeds of the exhibition I

go abroad to

obtain materials and information about Western

LETTERS

Director of the State Institute of Artistic Culture K. S.

Malevich

AND DOCUMENTS

its

convinced of

Requestion Permission to Travel Abroad,

and the organiza-

of

draw

organizing the exhibition.

Petition

its

and strength to such an extent regarding questions

the

could be the

It

of our activities.

reimburse the state for the funds advanced for

6.

issue

first

review of the suitableness of the organization of

Matiushin);

and commits himself

in

of great interest

A. Mansurov). In the letter

Malevich refers to the interest

of

area

in this

which would also show

the

painterly,

16, Malevich sent

wave

appealing for your

and Exhibitions abroad to

the necessary funds for the

in

research,

this

by F

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

nauka should have as one of

Novitsky

Culture) to Malevich

having the Committee for the Organization

of Foreign Tours

abroad.

to the Leningrad section of

exhibition abroad of the

the West: not only

in

was sent

Novitsky

I

1925, signed

works of

be vouched for by the representatives of

will

P

14,

to

be exhibited but also those from the

Institute

repeating the text of these instructions

M.

first

of

letter

cede

my works

P.

a different handwriting):

(in

ter to

would be the will

work

artistic

works

can assume that such an exhibition

travel

Malevich has been informed.

a scientific research

disposal a considerable

to

Novitsky

dated April

(People's Commissariat of Education) as a profes-

ing

P.

will

Below: Inform Malevich 4/9/25,

this fact

exhibition.

would be necessary

which

Culture,

Artistic

of your assistance regarding

Germany) to organize an

it

or Leningrad an exhibition

works and the achievements of the

of his

artists

now raise the question my going abroad (to

appropriate to

it

works and

their

become acquainted with the and increase

many

activity

the opportunity of

think

I

Moscow

in

Malevich to go on

K. S.

that the

achievements have been presented. 2

what has not

Below: Before allowing

During seven years of revolutionary of

Dis-

V.

cussed 41201?.

a tour abroad,

Comrade

To

A.

S.

me

artistic-industrial exhibitions in

must prepare

exhibitions,

Scientific

Academic Center,

1925

7,

F Petrov,

Vasilievich (Lunacharsky),

Main Administration of

Institutions of the

on the document: Submit for decision

of the Artistic Department Report to Anatoly

from Malevich to the Head

Letter

seems to

It

over

is

their

Now we

(I.V./T.M.)

Instructions 5.

Proposal.

First

our painting and

have been shown and the masters of the RSFSR

Leningrad, Institute of Artistic Culture

nized an exhibition of his works. The letter from

the Kestner Gesellschaft

Request for Travel Abroad

the West

Soviet territory.

and orga-

Lissitzky

El

showing

BANQUET GIVEN BY POLISH ARTISTS

IN

HONOR OE

KAZIMIR

MALEVICH AT THE HOTEL POLONIA. WARSAW, MARCH, 1927 State Russian

Museum,

St.

Petersburg


Notes 1

December

(IK.)

Dated on the basis of an excerpt from the min-

GINKhUK

utes of the meeting of the Board of

December

document

of the request the decision

was 8.

taken to send the document to Glavnauka. In

all

mind: The

in

(1922,

bition

First

1923,

Berlin;

Amsterdam), XIV

national Exhibition of Decorative Arts

and Art

exhibition

first

of

the

institutions

Glavnauka of the Narkompros opened TADEUSZ PEIPER AND MALEVICH AT THE BAUHAUS APRIL

IN

in

1927

7,

Museum.

Slate Russian

Petersburg

St

of a scientific-artistic exhibition of the Institute

Germany, France, and America.

in

Second Proposal

case

In

the Institute would

works of the

Culture (Formal-Theoretical)

head

the

of

Methodology of the

Suetin;

ment

of Organic Culture

General

of

Deputy Head

N.

N.

assistant of the Depart-

B. V.

Ender;

response

official

staff

business for the

members first

all

7.

Third Proposal. find

it

As

travel

on

Head

of

The

if

Glavnauka

heads of departments.

Theoretical),

would

Painterly

like

as

I,

Head

of

Culture (Formal-

to petition

May

15,

foot,

which

I

them

sunflower or cannabis seeds, etc there are ancestors

mation appears strongly

it,

and force one

new

in

case

In Picasso's

sometimes

,

new

infor-

more

itself;

to repaint the entire paint-

paint on three to four

some new

plans break up.

Cubism, there seems to be some-

of an inner content.

It

seems as

if

his

all

is

carries

no content within

no pressure of another

principle

one percent.

Trip

applies the black in

in

a

more vigorous

the rear and [unintelligi-

Malevich the Department of

need to study

works and achievements of

and putting together of dossiers regard-

ing Painterly Culture, etc. addition, the seriousness of the

work

of the

Department requires more precise examples than the photographs on the basis of which

now conducted. The work will and

and

Aix, in

museums,

take place

work

and reach Pans on November

is

in Berlin,

private collections,

private artist's studios.

K Malevich

1,

plan-

Notes

(IK.)

MALEVICH WITH

HIS THIRD WIFE.

NATALIA

' 1

Dated on the basis of an excerpt from the minutes

Director of the Institute of

the

meeting

of

the

Board

of

itself;

— maybe

Department of Painting Culture

of the

nature

contemplates something inside of himself. But the

Cezanne

S.

Once

clearly like

plans, they act

the thing

Maybe one should

canvases

what

in

in

clearly.

them

to differentiate

propose to begin on

ning to return by tram on December

(K.

how

attain the purity of percep-

changes on the spot, by the need to become

in Paris

Germany on

the

familiar with

Glavnauka to

me in receiving visas and credentials to facilitate my journey to France through Warsaw and

aid

must

the circumstances of painterly currents and

impossible to issue funds for the

Department of

order to differentiate

Lady with a Fan 3

1925

Painting Culture are justified by the

In

individual

trip,

at the time.

scientific-artistic trips of

time.

a last resort,

ca.

(Formal-Theoretical) K.

the

of

All

will

— You

manner, and the black

individ-

organization of the exhibition or the trips of the

the

dated March 11, 1926,

Request from Malevich for Business

Abroad,

Leningrad

1929

tion,'' in

there

painters,

will

By a decision of the Commission on

which he couldn't take

painting.

Arts, 1929,

Malevich

ing.

Malevich received the permission for the

their

above-mentioned

it:

Only the second proposal received a positive

all

enclosed.

are

In-

Painterly

of Material Culture

and the research

in

a request

in

K. S. Malevich, 2)

Department

the

1925.

to travel abroad:

N. N. Punin, 3) the

Department

requests

ual

to put

head of the Department of

the

1)

like

members

for the following staff

the Historical

Scientific Business Trips,

proves impossible

it

to organize an exhibition of the stitute,

of

Moscow

painting and organic culture. 4.

abroad;

in

Museum on November 29, Two departments of GINKhUK took part

OESSAU.

April 8,

you learn

Industry {Pans, 1925).

The

new Western

House of the

Central

Russian Art Exhi-

International Art Exhibition (1924, Venice), Inter-

3.

to send the

Notes from lectures by Malevich to a

study group on

likelihood Malevich has the following

exhibitions

was made

to Glavnauka

1925, during which, after a reading

9,

and approval

2.

1925, after a reading and approval

9,

of the request, the decision

GINKhUK,

FEBRUARY

15.

State Russian

1927

Museum,

Malevich)

245

St

Petersburg

MANCHENKO.


I

ble].

woman with fists 4 — some woman?

The

this

is

an image?

A

I

sense

shift

power and strength

her a

in

the earth or have

This

means

strength and

it

The plan of ter

portrait of

that could

were painted,

open up beneath her

dominates every-

this

Go

in

is

a purely painterly

oeuvre there

Picasso's

admixture of a mystical sensation; but for us these contents of Cubism

shall

We

not be a law.

must

penetrate Cezanne and Cubism and extract from

them the fundamentals present time the

new

art

new

of the is

art.

At the

establishing an extra-

ordinary order that did not previously exist tory:

new

the

artist

has

become more

in his-

and

flexible

works within a whole array of sensations both and

representational

many

vibrates in

amount

of

expanse

in

The

nonobjective.

artist

sensations and receives a massive

knowledge and forms. The wider the which he works, the

richer will

his

forms be.

Museum

— Konchalovsky

— Has

Konchalovsky

Krimmer 6

passed

by

Van Gogh.

right

of

Later he develops a Cezanne-like cul-

a Russian basis. Like

achieved the

first

all

Russian

artists,

stage of Cubism. But

Konchalovsky could not develop on

momentum and individual,

his

he

later,

own

returned to ordinary things with

frequent mistakes

in

who

has not developed

his base,

he constantly

falls

under the influence.

when

the charge ended, they

chalovsky reached the ing.

He went

falling

maximum

fell

in

away. Kon-

physical paint-

to the limits of great mastery, but

under the influence of Surikov,

became

his

works

inferior.

Switching from one sensation to another, provided one drives

forms.

knows every one

of these sensations,

one towards the attainment

of ever-newer

they

now

made out

of

what has already been done.

this

was

a protest, a contra-

he

evangelical; an orator,

is

firmly,

it

an icon or the

in

a pure fifth phase,

is

the analysis of the additional element

which leaves nothing of the

theory,

in

and not to introduce?

— he strong only because — he stands on the path of Cezanne;

Kochalovsky

whole

is

make

better to

it

order to stand on Like

and Repin

sensation

his

phase.

fifth

Isn't it

because nothing

difficult

— but

the apostle Luke, boards as

like

a terrible

is

individual, as

diction, a contrast with everything that exists, this

an analysis of the audacious and hollow, and

was

Braque and Picasso haven't spent that which they

a race over forms 1,000 versts long;

be finished

not even be able to I

it

had to

and there was no time to stop

quickly,

on one canvas. You, looking

my

at

as a personality used to work, because

these systems, while

I

have brought.

works, would

where and with what

tell

through different systems;

Thus,

went

I

And now

now

is

Fauvism

is

all

of Picasso.

Over there no harm comes from

new forms

or energy

it,

on the searches

expended; cultivating the form

of

itself,

will

been dug and you Take the Circle"

In

come

in

the

fifth

phase,

of

it,

much

dug

has already

Now

progresses with every year,

it

a cer-

changes

in

one system

and Braque

Picasso

in

in

renaissance.

What

was new

did they discover that

form? Nothing. The ancients invented form and

the renaissance transferred milieu; I

and

would

we like

tant to

are

now on

into the painterly

it

the verge of the same.

move ahead, but

to

it's

do and you push forward more

For this reason

and

transfer

is

It

it is

a painterly condition.

impossible It's

impor-

quickly

I

don't

in

DOCUMENTS

at your paintings

One can

when

in

anyone

to turn

that case in

the young people

I

into a Cubist or

would spend time on one

one year would drag you through I

each system. of

all,

Moscow is

must look

they should attain mastery.

want

system, and

Madonnas most

I

into a definite system.

necessary that

phase has been outlived, but

they are [unintelligible] lagging behind.

mixture of museums,

them

my age

sider that the fifth

LETTERS AND

rushing about

is,

lost

reach

line.

Zagoskin 12 there

a school

— — Picasso nothing by having mind Braque — they developed one and the same system — as the

Futurist

In

must be created,

would proceed along

a time rich with diverse

would encourage

place and renewal, and con-

A

is

that

must be passed through instead of rushing

that

first

impressions of

a strict

in

stand aside, but this would be a waste of time-

be effaced.

terms of sensation

They claim

is

noth-

an organized way.

will

but along a certain

lost

I

because one must work and perfect.

it.

also shouldn't dig through already

— nothing

tain path.

in

he only has

but they are different.

You

purely mine

is

not mine. But

is

a school

young people

for

about. That

stones, etc.

they follow changes and

being developed, and up to

and inventing within

that

left

is

rest

manner.

turns; they join the current; the fifth stage 10

No time

work, what

ing by going through these systems

France young people your age are already

a firm base.

my

In

blows to the

it

traits

certain path, with-

delivered

me there is a different order me and Shishkin and Repin. 9 Young people now have to get on the path that has been dug. We dug has to be out and now

turning points, and

on a

Suprematism; the

Between you and

Why? Because

better to stand

is

and recorded

than between

In

it

out attempting to invent something ingenious.

ran

I

school and to the present.

paths

Such procedures were brought out by Picasso,

when

phase

be modern, a thing of today.

will

Braque and Gris are working

Surikov. 7

cannot stand as the equal of a master-inventor;

but

We

artists.

— Konchalovsky developed the way out of Impressionism — the Impressionism Malevich

An

the year '96.

in

tamped down, covered with paving

5

Cubism?

on

stays

it

Russian

ture

can be

always an

is

— no mat-

the Hat

in

it,

to nature, but keep your conception; take

The times are

Braque's oeuvre there

In

or paint

it

to nature, but receive from her as well. 8

thing else.

sensation;

Man

time. The

sign

But there are works, that no matter

that here Picasso has a sensation of

power and

how you

In

the Institute

six

persons.

Present: Nelius, Krimmer, Vikhreva, Yakovlev,

a presumption of the fifth

Sterhgaov,

and Leporskaia.' 3


On

raising the question of

monumentally

additional or deforming.

in

Its

source

nificance

easel painting

is

Now a

painter has to study

isms

all

demanding the

Architects are

newest currents

sensitivity to

new

Suprematist

essential

is

monumental

reestablish

to

1.

the isms.

all

on the

their influence

painter.

At the present time

nected

Disunity

is

Sculpture

S.

now

perishing

is

our country,

in

unites with architecture can

it

it

be restored.

1

A

4.

5.

the

in

collection

Museum

the

in

of

Previously

(1908).

Shchukin,

later

Museum

the

in

The Farm

the collection of

in

of

and commentary by

I.

V.

Lebedeva.

New

reference to the works of

13

made

documents. Notes of

P.

Konchalovsky

P.

in

1929, apparently during a ses-

sion of the study

group on new Western painting

lectures

conducted by Malevich. The studies took place the Central House of the Arts 2.

in

at

Leningrad

graphic

Malevich wrote on numerous occasions on the

"From

Drawing

lain

zinc.

nomena

9.

of the objective

world as such have no

essential,

is

is

only feeling as such,

completely independent of the milieu from which it

springs forth

The Philosophy of Suprematism

dares to believe that Art, hitherto

in

the service of

ment

in

lower part of

model

for

world of Art as a world of sensations

between 1928 and 1930,

nonobjectivity of Art

in

is

the art of pure sensa-

(From a book by Malevich written

Berlin

Quoted

on

the

basis

of

in

Kazimir

Malevich Sobranie sochinenii v 5 tomakh,

Moscow, 1998, pp 3.

A

103,

106-07

1927

vol. 2,

his writings,

Woman

with

Ilia

painters,

art establish-

Vladimir Vasilievich Sterligov (1904-

"For example.

in

the journal Novaia

Cubism already has

five

types of

forms of nonobjective painterly outlook

Suprematism there

exists

...

in

an element that has a

name depending on

(nos. 5, 6). For

artist;

Letter from Malevich to Aleksandr

is

to create

workshops

the achievements of the latest

Yalovlev

S.

for the study of

culture in

artistic

their practical realization.

The development of the culture of painting

latest

the circumstances

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; immutable;

example: formative

forms

in

the

and architecture has

entered the stage of development at which the practical

development of the problem of the

shaping of is

It

now

reality

should

arise.

impossible to deny that the painterly

culture of the latest formation has

including articles published

generatsia, Malevich stated his ideas as follows:

different

)

reference to Picasso's painting

realist

artists.

10.

tions."

Anna Aleksandrovna

Nikolsky, n.d.

emulation as opposed to the

work of the nonobjective In

(1832-1898) and

was seen by the

the ideas of the state and religion, can build a ...the

text. Inscription to

Repin (1844-1930),

artistic style

as a

artist;

the area of painting and architecture and also

Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin

whose

Karina

Arts.

unidentified.

artistic

Efimovich

was an

artist;

was

the right, reads: Emerald with whitewash. Yellow

the point of view of the Suprematist, the phe-

the

of

Leporskaya (1900-1982) was a painter and porce-

The project

Vassih Ivanovich Surikov (1848-1916), Russian

8.

took place at the State

History

theater and cinema set and

realist painter.

role of sensation for nonobjective artists:

meaning; what

artist, painter,

costume designer. 7.

the

of

"

at the

Eduard Mikhailovich Krimmer (1900-1974),

6.

Zagoskm (1900-1942),

Evidently, the studies

Vikhreva

9.

Private archive. Typewritten

Yefimovich

of "Circle of Artists

Institute

Museum.

Russian

vol. 2,

p. 131).

1973) was a painter, and graphic

Art.

(1876-1956), whose work was exhibited

(I.L)

Publication

of

New

the

Kazimir

Ivanovna Nelius was a costume and set designer;

reference to Picasso's painting

I

A

later

Art.

Woman

5.

Notes

Shchukin,

Western

Painting as well

violating

from

(Quoted

artists.

David

12

Petersburg

Previously

(1908).

I.

Western

fatal for artists.

and only when

St

Member Fan

the west

in

Museum.

art are discon-

our country.

in

They are already uniting

Leningrad

KAZIMIR MALEVICH, 1927-28 Stale Russian

forms of

all

a distinct indi-

in

"Circle of Artists" (1926-32), association of

11.

Learn the theory of additional elementsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;

inherent

is

same time not

style"

Moscow, 1998,

Learn

express their heightened

and create that hetero-

Malevich. Sobranie sochinenii v 5 tomakh,

painting

2

latter,

the

at

viduality,

architecture. it

the

geneity of form that

transfer of the

coordinate with the

to

who can

form; those

this

senseless.

is

sig-

the collective development of the

in

Suprematist form. Several individuals can work on

To drag everything that a painter does to the wall

The objective im-

.

mutable formative element acquires a great

our time.

mous All

influence

types of

on the shaping

art,

had an enor-

of our

new

the influence of the latest painting. Our ity is

now

reality.

including architecture, are under

faced with the problem of a

tectural paradigm. For this

it

is

new

new

real-

archi-

necessary to think

of the timely organization of experimental practical

workshops,

in

forward by the

247

which the problems brought

new

currents,

would not only


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

receive scientific

form but

practical application.

For this reason organizational design work-

shops are indispensable. Such are

the

consequences of

all

resentatives will be driven underground, a time will

come when

new workshops

forms

the

of architecture.

theoretical-

the representatives of the old

on the new forms

lead the attack

will also

The expansion and

new

unification of

experimental works of the Committee for the

all

Study of the Latest Modern Art.

be the slogan of the day for the conquest and

Such workshops must have several

two

workshop

basic

divisions

divisions:

nical

and

practical

materials.

conducted close conjunction with the

theoretical research division of the

Modern

K.

Committee

for

and

believe that as

I

is

to train highly

you

soon as you

will arrive at all

architekton with

You

level will

its

Sergeevich architect.

(1884-1953),

Nikolsky

He was associated with

Malevich through their joint architectural conin Gill

(State Institute of the Fine Arts).

Prior to that, in 1926, shortly before

down, there were plans to replace the

director of the institute,

dates for the position

Nikolsky headed the

I.

industry, in

Chashnik,

V.

and one of the candiheld

by Malevich was

merger of Ginukh and

Nikolsky. After the

tic

Ginukh was

Committee of modern

which Malevich's students Vorobiev and

L.

B.

Gill,

artis-

Ender,

Khidekel worked.

archi-

same conclusion

on

is

a

from Malevich to Aleksandr

only the result of the influis still

met. The "reaction

and more.

I

in life"

is

rearing

its

head more

can foresee that after the destruction

of the painterly front of the

new

art,

whose

rep-

on the

words have been

have form that has but

my idea that life is always we artists following the ab-

refute

which

in

life

is

enveloped.

we

Thus

and the

new

stand on the verge of a

basic motif for the

must

epoch

classical

new

classicism

development of be

this

Architektonic

Suprematism. for the

elaboration of this entire

question, not only Suprematists, but architects as

must be included so that

well,

new

a

front of

architecture can be created.

Consequently,

my group and

I

told architects

many

would

I

like

to

the study of architecture from

this perspective.

won't hide the

a Western imprint

on your models as

is

in

the

West

has reached enormous proportions, manifesting the creation of an entire team for the

development of one

motif,

I

feel that

necessary to create such a team

of

the

making

sorties

S.

remember

I

that at our

meeting you

first I

believe that

well.

the architectural movement, which

in

our ranks.

raised the question of attribution.

Recognizing the importance and significance of

itself

in

I

P.

fact that there

architects

Malevich

K.

in

it

would be

Suprematist

functions: the

be

and which

front

in

to

two

authors:

The

authors

if

a

member

makes Suprematist

of the Suprematist group

architecture

independently,

in

life

without the participation of a Suprematist forma-

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

in

and of

itself

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the authorship

will

belong

to

But in

is

notice the

if

the

members

construction,

its

of

Suprematism take part

then

the

degree of the

a

century of a lack of form and only with the

AND DOCUMENTS

we

to the Suprematist engineer.

You cannot deny that our nineteenth century

we

i.e.,

and the engineering,

Suprematist design.

already

through the functionalism of

art did

assigned

tion is

"constricture,"

its

Suprematist formation and the authors of

Secondly, architectural

form and

artistic side

that case the authorship of an entire building will

form. (See the reference about Kaz. Malevich.)

appearance of the new

the

will call

of

the USSR.

question can be well resolved by a division of

this

authorship

done.

I

will

depend on the degree of the work

think that these are purely material ques-

rais-

tions that can be resolved in the

LETTERS

life

of art

path always find the form

stract

me

notice

sort of ideological rap-

far only

already

artistic basis

Can they

while Polish architects have undertaken

in Berlin,

a building's construction,

and the new architecture

way we can

of the Suprematist architectural front by including

the

of

what

tects haven't so far noticed

ment

time has passed since the two groups rep-

resenting Suprematism

some

business

appeared not on the basis of speculative

from the sensation of the

sensation

the clear water" of the speculative functionality of

Much

In this

this

a reference to

dimensional architectural massive. Western archi-

the

against the Constructivist front, which "swims

Dear Aleksandr Sergeevich,

in

propose to you and your group the development

to

S.

Nikolsky, ca. 1930

form

we

but

Certainly,

see that the "flatlike appearance" of

However, under the conditions of the develop10. Letter

of

prochement. But so spoken,

time

first

(the indications) of

that

of the Suprematism-like

architectural sense

is

for the

three-

painterly

Leningrad

closed

review the

will

supported

constructivists fully

began to speak

than Western architecture.

a great deal of distance

(A. P.)

structions

the

increased by speculative functions.

is

impoverished, and

ence of "Suprematism-like" painting. There

Aleksandr

we

Western architecture, namely that Suprematist

Western architecture

artists.

Malevich

Notes

not deny that

development of Suprematist

have after reviewing

higher

Art

The goal of the workshops qualified craftsmen

I

entire line of tecture,

the practical subdivisions or study cabinets

the Study of

will

I

The

and Gan

the sensations of yourself and the entire

dict

Cabinets: practical studies of the latest painterly

is

and think that you

group that shares your point of view.

arts textures, forms, experimental

the work

believe that

Suprematists provide a form that does not contra-

cabinets on architecture and painting

In

I

tech-

The painting department

and technology of

forms.

you and your colleagues are coming closer to our position

many

divisions are divided into

new

implementation of the

must

architecture

and

architecture

painting with a joint preparatory division.

The basic

the sympathizers of the

The dictatorship of

ing of the question of form.

speculation

same degree

of


co-authorship,

work done

the proportion of

i.e.

by each worker performing one task or another.

And

so,

point of the development of the Suprematist architectural front,

request that you set forth

I

writing your motives

which

in

and requests and proposals

lead closer to a merger.

will

It

somehow

is

the views of the bourgeois world

belonged to any in

Warsaw, the

quate space. 2 "Bolshevik

who

fallen apart.

11. Transcript of

the

OGPU

Agency) Interrogation of Malevich,

me

win

CONDUCTED

has arrived."

IN PP

OGPU

on

LVO

IN

It

my

consists of

at the

same

give evidence:

come from

Name, patronymic Kazimir Sevennovich

Age

(the questionnaire is

further not

is

filled

out,

crossed out]

Having been warned about the responsibility

testimony

My

provide the following

I

view on

art: art

must provide the newest

and everything connected with

architecture

reflecting the social

entirety,

its

problems of prole-

am

being accused of formalism by the

staff of

the person

the State Institute of the Arts

in

Atsarkina and Serebnakov, this

not correct as

1

have proven with

view on tion:

art;

I

am

nomic

striving to

be closer to produc-

dishes are

in

demand

for

which provides our union with an ecobenefit; at the

tion in the

which

I

my work and my contemporary

my new works on

export,

is

we

West

same time

there

is

recogni-

of our innovation in art, with

can show our achievements on the

cul-

traveled abroad

of Glaviskusstvo.

with which

I

I

on

official

business on behalf

completely

was charged The

I

due

I

and became famous study anywhere

didn't

any

in

institution

to the social system

tsarist

in

received from the Revolution everything

now my knowledge to

cratic vestiges

my own fully

from the

can, with confidence,

I

common

the

cause.

my own

the fact that

in

work

of

my

and polygraphy,

fulfilled

the task

exhibitions that

I

the

of

results

was recognized

of

based on these decisions.

Serebnakov.

My

is

usefulness

life,

Kirill

as

in

textiles

yet,

no

believe that in

I

due

in

Lunacharsky, the head of IZO mittee), VKP(b) (All-Russian

the

terms of resolving

in

but there are, as

the majority of cases this

spite

of the state appara-

new way ;

decision

final

laboratory

etc

unable to in

valuable and indispensable

the problems of the

am

I

have

I

production project,

Commission on the purging tus 6 the

even though

past,

laboratory at the Institute,

develop

to the director,

work

CC

is

known

(Central

to:

Com-

Communist Party-

Ivanovich 7

;

The Chairman

of Cultural Ties with Foreign Countries, Petrov; Tirtadov,

Artem

S. (8),

my

Malevich

In

employee of Narkomtorg

(Peoples' Commissariat of Trade) in the area of

(IV.)

accordance with the

rules

governing the use of

the TsA (Central Archive) of the FSB the surnames

OGPU and

of the workers of the

witnesses con-

nected with the case have been deleted. Case No.

3730,

have

I

away from work.

couldn't be accepted

Bolshevik), Shutko,

tural front. I

I

efforts.

have strived for and

apply

of

tarian society. I

I

"

based

art,

However, due to the presence of some bureau-

relevance to the case:

in

I

of learning Russia

of giving false testimony,

4 a worker's family

my own

because

on

for the benefit of Soviet art, while

the reactionary element turned

by

read the

I

Interrogated by [signature)

Notes

time, during the revolution, a part of

accused (witness— crossed out]

Surname: Malevich

anything more,

testify to

of

All

as a Soviet artist

two people and the sub-

days of the revolution,

first

K.

had

work, are known.

thirty years of

been working

the undersigned, have been interrogated as the

the page

it

cannot

known me

signature.

I

not connected to mine.

is

I

connection with

statement, and witness the testimony with

Warsaw wasn't

In

convictions and views

From the

PO DELU ZA No

3.

with ade-

over to their side, nor could there have

been, as

Op. Upolnomochenny. 7th Section [surname]

2. First

me

practitioners of art of the bourgeois tendency to

STATEMENT NO OF INTERROGATION

1.

for several decades.

I

in

decoration of dishes.

artistic

When was

referred to as the

I

the

in

these persons have

There were no attempts on the part of the

September 1930

I,

Germany was

stance of their work

(United State

my work

— the bourgeois prac-

even provide

who knows me

export-import,

and never

in art

able to contact the bloc "g" as by that time

on paper

Political

In

a

never shared

I

right [wing] currents

right [wing]

titioners of art didn't

and position

better to lay out one's thoughts

Germany and Poland presented

in

favorable impression of Soviet art

your group agrees with the basic

if

organized

1,

14-15 (handwriting on

the testimony

rogator

written

is

The

form).

the present publication

(in

Grammatical

errors

have been corrected

italics).

original.

is

Malevich was

arrested on September 20, 1930, by the

(United State

OGPU

Agency) on the charge of

Political

"having committed a crime under the Criminal Code,"

text

the present publication

in

Malevich's handwriting

in

handwritten

the

in

text of

red ink by the inter-

in

i.e.,

the investigation to his

article

58-6 of

espionage was linked by

trips

abroad: "the present

case arose on the basis of a report to the

OGPU

that Malevich, during his official trip to Poland

1927, met with a group of

USSR

In

artists hostile to

addition, after being asked to register at

the Embassy

Warsaw, delayed doing so

in

ostensibly because of

health"(lbid

"ill

launched immediately after This

later.

staff

campaign— a

intensification

great purge of the

of Narkompros, involving firings

"working over" of those

who

19

but three

his return

had to do with the

of an ideological

I.

,

Malevich was not

typical that the case against

years

in

the

thought

and the

differently.

Strangely enough, Malevich wasn't accused of

—a

intending to emigrate Malevich.

In his

cal subjects

(even though

naires of the case, political

Power"

,

I.

11).

in

one

He

of the questionhis

"Sympathetic to Soviet quite

skillfully

changes the

topic of the conversation to "left-wingers"

249

for

politi-

answering a question on

beliefs writes (Ibid

dangerous matter

testimony Malevich avoids

and


.

"right-wingers" identifying "practitioners of art

Union" with the representa-

hostile to the Soviet

"bourgeois tendencies" and proves

tives of

not belonging to the

latter.

A few

days after

of

learning.

The Moscow School of

Sculpture and Architecture

was

Painting,

especially liberal:

his

Malevich attempted to gain admittance there

his

many times but

failed

My

the exams

his

in

on December

release

ogy

8,

L Kramarenko: The

of

all

were

some

if

was the

and

I

clarify

as a theoretician

...

whether there left

things weren't carried too

from

(Quoted

According to Vladimir Mayakovsky's memoirs,

case involved the ideol-

of the currents, "right" or

in all

tions,

1930, he wrote to his

existing currents

and ideologist had to

Zhmoisto,

A.

I.

1888- 1942.

Kramarenko,

deviaetc."

far,

Lev

luhevich

and

historian

author

Romantic painters.

In

2.

in

"Moscow

on

books

From 1944,

Gill.

A

lawyer by training, he

as a propagandist

and

political editor

newspapers and magazines. Beginning

in

of

1921,

presidium of the

D. 2.

I.

1930

April

as a

director of the

Gill

in lieu

of

Shmidt.

staff,

Malevich's exhibition took place

was

pictures

in

small

of the exposition

in

a hall of the

which the space for hanging

and unsuitable. Photographs

show

com-

that several vertical

were exhibited

positions

horizontally

due to

lack

Malevich puts together the names of different groups:

artistic

the

(1925-26), whose organizers

and

the

of

association

(Gestaltung),

Strzheminsky

(as of

1

in

1

was

G

member

entirely true.

1905 and maintained friendly years. In

which he was responsible

the

CC VKP

Be well-behaved and good,

Notes

governing

kiss

you

kiss

you

— loving

Kazik.

writing:

To

K.

On

In

I.

the reverse side

S.

Malevich's hand-

in

Malevich, Cell 167,

ODPZ

Nizhe-

Soiuz-Sviazi Street, Bldng. 2, Apt. 5

Natalia

Andreevna Malevich

of cul-

The

text

is

written

pencil.

in

The postcard

is

ad-

in

with him for

dressed

to

N.

A.

Malevich (nee Manchenko,

1902-1990), wife of the

for cultural policy in the

Committee of

Party

— Bolshevik). K

Uriman,

1938 Shutko was arrested

Tirtadov, friend

and fellow-

Shutko, professional revolu-

Soviet times he

K.

whom:

was

registered

ODPZ

worked

in

the food

in July

artist.

(Their marriage

— Otdelenie

of 1927.)

Dosrochnogo Predvaritelnogo

Zakliuchenia (Department of Preliminary Imprison-

ment Before

in

Trial)

Malevich's paintings

and architektons remained

Museum after his The museum planned to

the Kiev

1930.

Artem Sergeevich

the newspaper Supremus,

in

p. 8)

gorodskaia 39.

the camps.

countryman of

(I.V./T.M.)

publication

1991 No. 01,

ings,

but due to lack of funds

solo exhibition

in

acquire the paint-

this

question could

not be resolved for a long time. (See Malevich's

correspondence with

L.

lu.

Kramarenko

— ed. Lev

lunevich Kramarenko.) industry. 2.

based on

I

and Vasia 3 Papa.

Neli

Natashenka you must write to Mechik not to forget Unochka, your

1

In

they

will

friendship with

live in

listen to others.

and Babushka. 2 Regards to

Malevich was released from prison as a result of

tionary.

My

price?'

much

you, your loving Kazik.

Where: Leningrad,

According to Malevich's daughter, U

8.

what

at

— how

to

they

If

a high position in

(b) (Central

Communist

All-Russian

in

release.

Soviet times

In

ties

1930 he occupied

Shutko's intercession.

of the nobility.

its

management

the area of the

and died

There were no restrictions

kiss

Postcard:

923). His

and

from 1902, member of the RSDP

in

the

— then

valuable

are

as the Leningrad Division of

Malevich became acquainted with him

in

my

Museum

Dear Unochka.

and

same

Ivanovich Shutko (1884-1941), professional

revolutionary,

cinema

you

affairs,

will

was reorganized

(Russian Social Democratic Party).

ture.

enough

have

word]

give?

(First

of Art History,

included H. Richter

a highly qualified sugar-manufacturing

engineer and a

Not

926,

architects

Malevich distorts the facts somewhat.

father

5.

Berlin

whose members

and Mies van der Rohe 4

V.

Korbo founded the group Preznes

K.

and

Blok

association

Polish

Academy

he worked

buy

to

everybody. Study and

body was changed.

many

of space. 3.

and became known the State

in

had

I

connection with the purge of the

in

of Narkompros the institute

7. Kirill

Hotel "Polonia"

The new presidium

that

staff

In

of the

heads of departments." However, year 1930,

the purge of the staff of Narkompros he

new membership

the institute including the members,

From 1927-30, he was the rector of the LGU

was appointed the

intend

paintings

have a month to review the present personnel of

he was professor at the Petrograd University.

(Leningrad State University).

institute.

justice will

miss you and

I

don't

paintings until

in

Glavnauka and Glaviskusstvo have been

tive."

you

If

[unintelligible

my

hold up

I

charged with forming the

the Tretiakov Gallery

terribly.

for

bad.

is

to preserve

tematically studying art from a Marxist perspec-

Mikhail Vasilievich Serebnakov (1879-1959),

result of

(By Telephone)."

the institute "as a single institution of learning, sys-

of

Unochka

this

should be helped. Write to the Kiev

deemed expedient

has been

it

attack

money

order concerning the Leningrad Institute of

which

a second

hope that

I

see each other soon.

will

edition),

Russian

Soviet public figure.

worked

An

The Red Gazette of

1930 (evening

Leningrad, January 30, reported:

from the end

in Gill

1930, she was the secretary

of the history of art section of

she worked

political loyalty.

i.e.,

1930.

early

we

triumph, and

commission that worked

be able to keep the family

will

Keep the room.

together.

1929 to

you

this

the History of the Arts has been published,

Nikolaevna Atsarkina (1903-1977), art

Esfir

A

of

Grafika.

Zhivipis.

Katalog Vystavki, Moscow, 1995.) 1.

6.

dear, darling Natashenka,

believe that

only school that did not require a refer-

ence of trustworthiness,

N. A. Malevich,

Leningrad

15, 1930,

field. I

friend

from Malevich to

12. Letter

November

Una (1920-1989), daughter

of Malevich and

class origin in tsarist Russian institutions

Sofia Mikhailovna Rafalovich, lived at that time with

LETTERS AND

DOCUMENTS


her 3.

grandmother— Maria Sergeevna

Do you know, my

Rafalovich

Raflovich (1891-1953). the brother of

Vasilii

Ivan Vasilievich, that during the

entire time of

vacation

had a very strong pre-

I

Sofia Mikhailovna Rafalovich, Nelli (Nionila) Gavril-

monition of death. Somehow,

ovna (1893-1963) was

but every evening

this idea

so acutely, and

so disappointing that I've lived

wife

his

Mechislav Sevennovich Malevich (1882-1962),

4.

the brother of K

Malevich lived

S.

in

Moscow.

from Malevich to Ivan

June

2,

want

I

you know,

Kliun,

live,

to

I'd like

oh how live

I

want me.

at

want

I

times are better but there

Vasilievich!

had a chance to

think that you already

wear

yourself out

Moscow. As

in

One

suffocating completely.

and

rest

for myself,

I

could say that up to

I

I

I

alone here There's no one to talk sitting like

has arrived, and I'm

damn

a cage in this

to

work

for

Mos-

you'll ex-

if

time of night, evidently

this

bird in

little

to leave for

Maharstroy,

to.

cuse the expression at

a

like

I'd like

city

cow, but I'm unable

me

is

moles.

Summer

wants

Everybody

to.

let

us say

— 150

damn

waited and waited and not a

rubles. 2

thing.

I

1

either

have to grasp at something or lower the anchor. I

was asked

become

to

to

in

They offered 440

We

rubles.

is

And

live.

more

the past the

now

the

no gayness; but time

The years pass you've

kicked

by,

the

bucket.

it

these

getting

I'm

thoughts also because there are no people from Barvikha. I

way

its

my

calmly. But further

legs

tower

won't

Moscow

stick out.

Tretiakovka (perhaps

in

And

River

signed the contract

K.

f

in

— "Jupiter" — to

now

could

my mind

left

I

a long time ago.

be back after June 15

you were

good

if

live in

Abramtsevo and the

Moscow.

in

This

little

It

I

would be

Ekatenna

wife,

Kliun's

5.

summer

village of

will

I

Bykovo.

I'm thinking of painting portraits. For the time

being

I

wrote a book

rough draft with type

me

to

Izologia*

Moscow.

We'll read

two copies on your typewriter

memento, as won't be able I

my

Call

brother, or

bring the

I'll

to publish

it

maybe you can

sketches.

and

anyway. find out

from Mikhail Petrovich what the situation

my

it

for friends as a

is

with

The Tretiakovka took two of my

sketches and wanted to buy them, but so far don't

know

if

they

will

Ekatenna Konstantmovna. 5 Your Kazimir Malevich

[On the

reverse]:

or

not. 4

I

Regards to

1.

wrote

Malevich

December

Council of Ministers Barvikha,

about

1933. Later he

1,

and

it

was

became

fall

2. For several

of

in

the repository of the

by Tatiana Mikhienko

in this

lie

move

years Malevich attempted to

negotiated with the

Moscow

goal

this

mind

in

Trust "Maliarstroy,"

which offered him the position of consulting for 3.

artist

design bureau

its

In

his

1930

back to Moscow, and with

speaking of

dently has

in

his "little

book" Malevich

mind a new version

of

one

evi-

of the

chapters of a book conceived by him (Izologia), entitled

"The Practice of Impressionism." The

manuscript of N.

I

(in

three versions)

was

at the disposal

Khardzhiev. The final version (67 sheets)

was dated by the author October 1932. At the present time, the manuscripts are (closed archive).

in

the RGALI

Konstantinovna

this

in

amended

his it,

will,

as the

Architekton, belonging to the Tretiakov Gallery,

was

look

form Malevich speaks of

St.

dated 1930.

building a sanatorium in

(A.S./I.V.)

arrest in the

now

a restricted area.

I

In this allegorical

was

Girl

Kliunkova.

Malevich

Notes

814.) The

The Flower

Petersburg. Both paintings are

but I'm again stuck on the Moika. I'm completely

bored out of

the book of art

the collection of the Chudnovsky family,

the

in

is

in

MM, No

gallery only acquired Sisters:

on the grave a

place

Sisters (Sisters, artist

8

winds

And when you drop dead you can down next to me know you'll outlive me.

OR GTG,

the basement)' on which

be placed a telescope

will

and the painting Two

dated, 1910) (See declaration

from the shore so that

the shape of that column, which

in

ing the Flower Girl (dated 1904, signed by the

7.

When die, all of the artists and those who know me must bury me in Barvikha. 6 Do you remember where we sat the last time? You can see far into the distance. The

January 1931, Malevich proposed to the

artist),

6.

and before you know

through.

a consultant for Lengiz.

it

marches on and the clock beats out the time

am

now my vacation in Sochi has not gone out of my mind, and now still have to wait in Leningrad, and don't know when will leave. I'm completely

feel

In

Tretiakov Gallery to acquire a version of his paint-

acquisitions,

times were bad but they were gay, but

Dear Ivan

to die, I

the remaining time

You get to thinking that

gaily.

1931, Leningrad

to

don't

done much.

for a long time but haven't

But 13. Letter

it's

I

gnaws

4.

KAZIMIR MALEVICH. State Russian

MAY

Museum.

251

St

1930 Petersburg

museum. See publication.

article


"1

KAZIMIR MALEVICH AT THE INSTITUTE OF ARTISTIC CULTURE, 1925 State Russian

Museum,

St.

Petersburg


.

m X I

tn

CATALOGUES OF EXHIBITIONS OF MALEVICH'S SUPREMATIST WORKS HELD DURING HIS LIFETIME AND

of

total

they

that

all

expressed their "cult of

not alone

self in

they

relation to the

but a representative of

in this,

his "legion")

1915-16

how

is

It

Instead of this Mr. Malevich (and he

universe

THEIR REVIEWS.

loved.

life," their

is

is

his time,

glad that he has transformed him-

the "nothingness" of forms, that he has

destroyed the ring of the horizon which "leads

December,

1915-January

19,

1916

19,

the piper

The Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings "0.10" [Zero-Ten], Galerie Dobychina, Petrograd

Masses

Painterly

Masses

Painterly

the Fourth Dimension;

in

of a Boy with a Satchel

the Fourth Dimension; 42.

in

woman

43. Painterly realism of a peasant

I;

two

in

dimensions; 44. Self-Portrait in Two Dimensions; 45. Automobile

Dimension;

Fourth

the

Masses

in

and Lady

the Fourth

Painterly Realism

— Painterly Masses 46. Lady — Painterly in

and Second Dimensions;

of Painterly Masses

Dimensions; 48-59. Painterly Masses

60-77.

Masses

Painterly

in

in

47.

Two

in

Motion;

Two Dimensions

a

in

State of Rest.

naming

show

some

seized with pride

is

sort of divine honors.

we

can find an

several of the paintings

must be sought

that forms

to point out that

I

regarded

real

I

do not wish them.

in

I

to

want

.

.

illustration of

this

"sermon of nothingness and destruction,"

high

in

a corner just under the ceiling,

the hal-

in

lowed space, there hangs a "work" without a number, undoubtedly by the same Mr. Malevich, depicting a black square framed

doubt

this

the

is

No

white.

in

which the Messrs.

"icon"

proposing instead of Madonnas and

Futurists are

shameless Venuses. This then,

the "mastery

is

over the forms of nature" towards which, with the

work of

force of logic, leads not only the

full

the Futurists with their confused muddle and their

breaking of "things," with their

Malevich's catalogue statement (see page 00): In

aspires to

At the exhibition

rational experiments, but also

means

ture" with

its

even more

terrible

crafty, insensitive,

of our

all

means

"new

cul-

and with

of destruction,

forms as heaps of t.

that has nothing to

do with

nature.

KuHHip-v Kuieiim

ncfMBMT. OpnBusiu co»HBHin

Kor.ia P-UKrH!'.

Hp«|*au.

VfYOKOirV

UJllilll.

Tu.iiK" y6M0B-nt iMcmo-Mnoonucitoe

n.

wijI.t*

H fw

ten]nvnn<

VT1J 1MIJX

ttHff*

I.

.

nfomotdthu

COMMENTARY H

Alexandre Benois, The Last Futurist

nptoopaaii.icu

at

ityAn

fof.tti

11

1

i

dpMmt Aita&tMU*e<it»to Hcaytcma*

Exhibition, speech delivered January

1,

pniuun

1916: CT.

i\ ...om.i— npnoara, n momc-ii. an Kp»r» K'Ohim ropusoirra rt. KOTOpout. atucikj-irtthi KJjmnMI

n.m.1'1,

I

HttTTpM

Mr. Malevich speaks very plainly of the disappear-

ance of the habit of the consciousness to see images is?

It

in

paintings. But

nothing

is

ance of

vides us with

would

less

love, that

do you know what

than a

call for

the disappear-

warmth and without which we

inevitably freeze to death

and

perish.

crannies of nature"

— but

the landscape; this

is

this

is

"The

nooks and

Fidii.

Most important,

not noaoe

how* jwewm

11

Wmuia on un.tu a mSejut. II mfyt.iuaot coSKUiti n ik\ iHi«-rt I1HIWHIW1 1 cii.tl xtnowiiHK* nojuaxnCM oAmuhv u immuDUJOn. ctot ucayccmoo ftyfMtxt HMmyftt. fioncv fltmMH i<\ h.wmcht*. Ha nkitta.1*. raoe m-KVf-Tuo duaap* a a*a<n uia

vi-

MM

UornpoQBBOAMTl DA-HOfloauHKUO ll|~ BOpy Hft ciioif

pmiiin, 'ito iiocTttprBTfccn ln.ifcKi.

DCKfcmto

Bruin

cmoo

t}dmi> n 0* at irfaaatu man

mnmn

ii.ji-n.

Ki

hji.iili.

»in duna, dAa

.iMout-tii

11

[Ui

Ji.l

11

in

11

anKfiuaiiHi.in

q v*

11

this

is

the

hi. a.i

11 |

|

bj

i

,

,

noaoS ay.iamyfai acayccmo* a mtwy,

|

,,

,

,,,

1.1

1

the whole of

everything: Durer, Dante,

Rembrandt, Impressionism, Cezanne, Turgenev, Wagner, and

RODqo oncpuMH

mop

this

fundamental principle that pro-

habit of the consciousness to see the

:+n> npoK.iim>c

sum

MALEVICH'S STATEMENT

IN

THE BROCHURE FOR THE LAST

FUTURIST EXHIBITION OF PAINVNGS "0 Courtesy Vasiln

Rafcilin

253

its

of mechanical "restora-

formless painterly masses on which a painting

was created

"

and

Mr. Malevich promises to bring us to the goal

and Player

and to destruction

his goal

to destruction, and thus he

39. Square; 40. Painterly Realism of the Football

41. Painterly Realism

away from

W

(ZERO-TEN). 1915

-


tion," with

dom

"Americanism," and with

its

of the "Boor," not

A

here and now.

work

is

in

black square

in

king-

its

the future but

in

the

a white frame-

not just a joke or a challenge, nor

is

it

a

The inconsistency of the "symbol of conceal-

Nikolai Punin,

ment" up

Panorama

body and the

to the strongly protected

new mea-

inadequacy of the conditions for the

the Field of Mars;

little it

importance

house on

a

an act of self-affirmation by

is

whose name

the principle

in

sure are on the negative side. The difficulty of the

is

the "impertinence of

desolation" which takes pride

in

realization of his idea

the rejection of form,

lies in

which has a detrimental

1915

"0.10"

on coloring. The

effect

in

and

it

destruction....

will

images of

Whence

come? How

incantation

which

of everything that

is

Malevich

to

can the words of the

pronounce the

spell

once more bring back the cherished life

upon the background

etc.

of the black

dynamic of the

as

it

should be,

who

the Last Futurists,"

to be

in

ple of

Petersburg: Ocharovanny strannik, 1916),

pp.

17-18

is

good

not everything has been done the fault of the

Moscow

up everything

nothing the

spared. The

is

new

first

welcoming every quest

for the

we

new,

are

of mileage out of

lot

"New

Painterly Realism,"

which

some reason goes by the academic name

new is

if

ing

and

of each material has

strongly

felt this

idea

its

in

coped with "the New" positive side

is

history,

new

a is

but Malevich has

How

way.

another matter.

simply no

your still

new

get a

he has

On

They had

artists:

tempt

clearly

new

what

art.

agitator,

In

we

and broken where, with the it

Malevich himself

advocate,

Suprematist

faith,

and

and in

would take

the

in

— that magnificent

heresiarch,

the

of

everything he said, there

was, at that time a great deal of vague Futurism, a proclivity towards inventiveness at the cost of

and much

quality

rationalistic

was

a

ferment.

We

felt

dead end: an emptiness

futuristic heroic

deed

full

was the

cold emptiness of rationalism vanquished

by the world helplessly raising a square over

The

interesting that they create a strong impression of

arrival of

Futurist

lives. Later,

natural course

Exhibition," Petrogradskii listok,

it.

Malevich and the resulting com-

motion involving Suprematism, was

in art

our

Anonymous, '"Double-V

a void of

force of

should be confirmed simply and

an impending transformation

invention outside of the material. Suprematism

ingenuously. But the execution and idea are so

December

gone

couldn't imagine back then quite

place Suprematism

concealed by the

painterly mass,

all

us.

Evidently

the shallowness of the introduced colorful

the

the great value of his achievement.

this exhibi-

the beginning....

of

revelation of the individual characteristics

called

through Suprematism and Suprematism came to

planes one feels a break from "Cubo"; incom-

paint-

was

it

him Suprematist squares and

an entire retinue of

that Suprematism

plete in

in

ideas

for

"Suprematism."

The idea of the independence of color

it

one to

fully, In

Malevich's

artists

king! Moreover, a cou-

is

friends can snatch your

time to bring an idea to fruition. Even

happy to recognize as such, although not

what

is

came from Moscow with

tion bringing with

for the right

idea won't ultimately succeed you can In

to be

place even for an instant. For the

first

this,

movement, has

from under your nose. So there

right

(St.

if

it

i.e. its

are ready to give

come up with

"On the Exhibition of Almanakh vesennii

color,

And

expressed.

sake of

square?

Mikhail Matiushin,

addition to this difficulty the

In

loving

can lead everyone towards death

— that

should stand above form to such a

coloring

the fact that squares,

vilification

held

10" The Last Futurist Exhibition.

"0.

through arrogance and a sense of self-importance

and gentle,

1989),

Petersburg The Last Futurist Exhibition

was

degree so as not to flow into any squares, set

and by the

(Moscow,

180-86

pp. In

chance episode of

"A Chapter from Memoirs,"

iskusstv 12

when he

left,

we were no

and

a

life

landmark

in

resumed

its

longer the same:

We

had experienced the Suprematist squares, behind

20, 1915

the Suprematist squares was the negated CuboThis exhibition does not differ exhibition: the

last year's

paint, the

same

same cardboard and

any way from

in

wild smears of

tin cylinders,

Futurism and before us, ever more demanding, ever it

and

bricks,

nailed to boards

and named

more mature, sated on

life

and merging with

cones in

as a concrete problem of quality, stood art.

the

catalogue by the most unexpected names such as "Portrait of Uncle,"

"Street,"

"Synthesis of

1916

Beauty," "The Suffering of Light Blue Happiness,"

"Suprematism of Art," Incidentally, THE LAST FUTURIST EXHIBITION OF PAINTINGS

State Russian

Museum,

"0.

0"

men, but

St

Petersburg

rather, this

is

a case of clever poseurs

1

luring

(ZERO-TeN), 1915

etc.

these are not the ravings of mad-

in

the public to get the fifty-kopek admis-

sion fee out of them.

EXHIBITIONS

November 6-December

19

Exhibition of Paintings

and Sculpture by

the Association of Artists "Knave of

Diamonds," Salon

K.

Mikhailova,

140-99. Suprematist Paintings

Moscow


.

COMMENTARY

Without any doubt

M. Efros), "Bubnovi Valet" ("Knave of Diamonds"), Russkie vedomosti

A. Rostsii (A.

November

ered within

who

have expelled from

their

and who have turned

figurativeness,

paintings into a combination of abstract, colored squares, circles

and

lines

cannot consider them-

be the "dernier en"

selves to

tainly they are

respect; cer-

in this

no more than the epigones of

Kandmsky, whose teachings they have altered, cleaned-up and

made more

cerebral

and cold...

shortcomings

Released

Political Prisoners,

Edinorog, 65.

Salon

art it

the painting that existed

all

through

in

and organized

it

same time

elements. At the

its

abstracted this painting, depriving

Suprematism

raison

a

not grand

is

That

d'etre. art, that

easily applied to textiles, cafes, fashion

art,

but that

not yet

is

new

a principle of a

come

have

Suprematism of Color

together

which

it

November 8-December 22

in

State Exhibition of Paintings

by Local and Moscow

Painters, Club

Borohov, Vitebsk 81. Portrait of the artist Kliun; 82.

Cow on

is

Violin; 83.

Suprematism

in

"polar"

is

in

There

artistic era.

all

Moscow

Suprematism

art.

form as

31

drawings,

enormous importance Moreover

in

so

is

it

an invention that

is

did not provide a form.

closed concenter

why

is

why

is

May

140-55. Suprematism

First

and

substance

ca.

it

of material

it

history of

no further development of Suprematism.

Moscow

27

Tenth State Exhibition: Nonobjective Art Street,

applied

Auction Exhibition to Benefit Recently

April

and Suprematism, Salon Rozdestvenka

the past

(as well as virtues) of

Suprematism extracted from the world

destined to have an

23

April

and

of the painterly

itself all

and so on. Suprematism 1917

1919

Suprematism gath-

the painting of the past

itself all

thus contained within

all

a creative invention,

1916

8,

T he Suprematists paintings

was

it

albeit a purely painterly one.

is

It

1920

is

a

paths of world art

February 6 First

Exhibition (One-Day) of the Unovis

Group Posnovis, Vitebsk

order to die there.

Without catalogue

November 16- December 4 Exhibition of Paintings by the Association of Artists "Knave of Diamonds," Salon K. Mikhailova,

Vera Pestel, extract from 1916 diary: The

Moscow

in

Suprematism: 129. A; 130. D; 134.

140.

L;

E,

135. ZH, 136.

141.

M; 142

N;

Z;

V; 132.

B; 131

137.

138.

I;

143 O; 144

Pillow,

with pink paint; he

filled

1

Second Student Exhibition of the Art School, Vitebsk

His

Without catalogue

beautifully decorated in a multitude of

and

it

was

very pleasant to transfer one's

gaze from one color to another (incomprehensi-

ble)— all

was

K.

of

them

of different geometric shapes.

peaceful

very

squares Belt;

February 15 - March

many

room was colors,

137-38. Ribbon. 139

in

another square with black paint and then

any 144. Blotting Pad.

it

squares and triangles with different colors

Moscow

128-36

filled

139. K,

P.

Decorative Art "Verbovka," Salon

43 Bag;

Malevich has simply painted a square

G; 133

I;

December 6-19 Second Exhibition of Contemporary Mikhailova,

artist

and completely

— no

desires.

to

look

at

the

It

different

thoughts came to our minds nor

The pink made one happy as well as

140the black.

We

liked

it.

It

was good

and not thing of any COMMENTARY

"On the New Artistic Groups," kommuny, February 9, 1919

Nikolai Punin,

Iskusstvo

made ant,

Suprematism has blossomed magnificent colors

There

where on shop-signs, All

of this

is

in

all

over

Moscow

exhibitions

very revealing.

One

and

and on that very day Suprematism importance.

What

was

is

Suprematism?

cheerful

made

such a room

and happy. The

fulfilled

everything colorful, pleas-

became Suprematists

also

is

what he

No

feelings,

(that

called himself)

There or

is

moods

no Weltanschauung

here.

SIXTEENTH STATE EXHIBTTION OF VTSVB KAZIMIR MALEVICH HIS

But feeling

is

just the

sensuousness of PATH FROM IMPRESSIONISM TO SUPREMATISM. SALLES B

arriving

will lose its cre-

room

sit in

and peaceful.

We

cafes.

could say with

confidence that the day of Suprematism

ative

in

Suprematism every-

is

the

geometric forms

to

objects, while the colors

colors.

That

is all

— Excerpted

DIMITROVKA. FORMERLY SALON K MIKHAILOVA,

from

Amazonki

(Moscow: Nauka, 2001), pp. 241-42

Avangarda

MARCH

25, I920-?

Courtesy Vasilu Rakmn

255

MOSCOW,

a


Opened on March 25

The

artist

thing

Kazimir Malevich: His Path from

urativeness

Impressionism to Suprematism, Salles B. Dimitrovka, formerly Salon K. Mikhailova,

path. However, there are

Moscow

in

This

itself.

come

Malevich has

phenomena

M. Lerman. Notes of Attended

rooms

a Conversation, n.d.

Malevich's

A

exhibition.

— Cezanneist

works,

like

of

suite

else

a straight

is

fig-

and honest

word" by develop-

were inherent

in

well-known

aware of the

clearly

— you

can

fact that our call

it

as you

— "suprematism," "futurism," or anything — the word of of the old really

last

is

art

all

Cubo-

Cubism,

version of Malevich deserves our atten-

latest

tion

— Malevich the Suprematist.

nal, at least in

no "revolutions" here.

to his "last

non-objective art

"left"

one

of impressionism. At the exhibition

one becomes COMMENTARY

rejects

nature and then he gradually discards

ing qualities that

Without catalogue

He

follows a logical path.

Sixteenth State Exhibition of VTsVB.

Here he

is

origi-

terms of theory.

Malevich does not understand however, that art gains

nothing from theory. As far as he

Once

cerned, art emerges from theory.

created

with

is

it

completely blind. The brain

more important

is

than the eye: As long as there

be painting. This

will

con-

is

dogma

Now he could paint He could now paint being

art will adjust to

eyes shut.

his

a

is

primitive personality,

thought there

is

the touching fetishism of a

who

has discovered within

Futurism, colored Suprematism, black-and-white

A. Efros, "Kazimir Malevich:

himself the process of thought

Suprematism, a black square on

a

white back-

Retrospektivnaia vystavka" ("Kazimir

experiments are the same. They are not paintings

ground and a white square on

a

white back-

ground

and

the

in

hall

last

— empty

white

Malevich: retrospective exhibition"),

Khudozhestvennaia zhizn (No.

Up

stretchers.

— Excerpted Vitebsk: Zhizn

Aleksandra

from: iskusstva

Shatskikh,

1917-1922, Moscow:

to

now

master. Not that

we

perceived him, as

I

don't

Khodasevich, from Portrety Slovami.

Ocherki (Portraits At one of

in

out that there

words: essays)

his exhibitions

an "almost perfect" Suprematist work. This was

(approximately seventy by seventy centimeters) a gilded frame.

empty frame.

In

a

whitewash

oil

in

Subsequently he exhibited just an

both cases there were

cussions and debates, but

both cases

in

no such

there are several persons

he (Malevich) exhibited

square canvas, well covered with

is

many

dis-

his intent

Malevich"

know him

who produce

filling

on

— but we

the gaps with

art....

"artist

Now

it

turns

Malevich" at

whose name

is

all;

"Kazimir

very persistent and consistent;

every

new "epidemic"

the one Malevich

apart into several

leviches; but these several

to constitute

however, as

captivates him completely,

falls

truthfulness or

falsity,

depends

on the

richness or emptiness of any

of Malevich's theoretical schemes,

on

justifica-

directly

and not

at

all

their intrinsic artistic merits or the successful

solutions of purely painterly problems. There

nothing whatsoever that

is

is

outstanding about

Malevich either as a painter, a master of texture, a

master of tone or as a master of

color.

paintings.... In his lack of

independence, dependency and subordination he is

but illustrations of a theory. Their

all

tion or superfluousness

mentioned above, through

large doses of his theories V.

at

1920)

Malevich has been a rather mysterious

small doses of his works,

lAzyki russkoi kultury, 2001, p. 127.

3,

His Suprematist

1

Ma-

Maleviches are unable

one complete Malevich... Only the

June First Exhibition

of Unovis, Svomas,

Moscow The Exhibition was timed to coincide with the

of art

in

first

and students

All-Russian conference of teachers

Moscow, June 2-9, 1920.

was mockery COMMENTARY A. Sidorov,

Quoted from Sergei Mikhail Eizenshteyn.

"Khudozhestvenni vystavki"

("Art exhibitions"), Tvorchestvo (Nos. 2-4,

Memuary

1920), p. 34

Memoirs), Moscow, Red. gazety "Trud":

(Sergei Mikhail Eisenstein:

Muzei kino, 1997, The

first

oeuvre

of

Kazimir

Malevich,

Suprematism,

who

focal point of

young

sidered

open was dedicated

exhibition to

the

inventor

has, for a long time, "left" artists. His

unintelligible

by

those

who

A strange

of

is

con-

have

not

at

two types

of white textures set against a white

background delineate white

circles.

is

made SIXTEENTH STATE EXHIBITION OF VTSVB KAZIMIR MALEVICH HIS

works where, reaching the heights of non-objective

The red

bricks of the

and on

circles,

this

orange

squares and blue rectangles have been painted. This

the exhibition range from

the most innocent realistic-impressionist studies to

art,

307:

town

white background numerous green

learned to attune their eyes to the Suprematist

manner. The paintings

provincial

principle streets are painted white

been the

work

v. 2, p.

to the

PATH FROM IMPRESSIONISM TO SUPREMATISM. SALLES B DIMITROVKA. FORMERLY SALON K MIKHAILOVA.

MARCH

25,

MOSCOW,

"The

Vitebsk its

way

squares

in

1920. Malevich's paintbrush has

over the brick walls of the town. are

In

one

orange

sees

1920-?

green trapeziums. Courtesy

EXHIBITIONS

Vasilii

Rakitin

our

palettes"

the

a fleeting impression of the

proclaim...

circles,

red

squares

walls

town and


.

Suprematist confetti

December 20-21

strewn about the streets

is

Unovis, Inkhuk,

of a flabbergasted city

lacks

Moscow

It

is

a

dull,

mute,

The objection that could be raised

by the assiduous supporters of

Without catalogue

October-November Art and Revolution, Vitebsk

any content whatsoever.

blind wall..

historical chronol-

ogy that such a canvas has already been exhibited by Malevich

COMMENTARY

Without catalogue

B.

Arvatov, [Review of K.

Bog ne skinut: Iskusstvo, Tserkov, Fabrika {God Is Not Overthrown) [Vitebsk, 1922], in Pecaht Revoliutsiia, Moscow, 1922, kn. 7

1921

is

of

no relevance

to me.

Malevich's book]

S.

1922 March-April

There are two conflicting currents

March 28

Second Exhibition of Unovis,

art,

Atelier

Tramot, Vitebsk

expressionism,

Gogh ming

"Vystavka b Vitebske"

("Exhibition

in

Vitebsk"), Iskusstvo (Vitebsk)

(Nos. 4-6, 1921), pp. 41-42

On

two

years of

work (1919-21). Unovis needs the new

art only

display

as a fulcrum

was the

result of

on which to place the

system)

in

lever of

order to overturn the entire world

The leaders of Unovis Unovis has no use for

and of

itself

will

accept nothing

with

away

in

the

process of the building of fantastic world spaces. of space, building in the

radical reconstruction of nical

culture

nature"

on the

all

air,

the

of the material -tech-

basis

of

"the

laws

of

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; such are the grand Utopias that draw

adolescent

artists to

The

first

the

ond

it

4-8

is

Club of Vkutemas,

the Paul Cezanne

Moscow

paramount,

is

Exhibition Dedicated to the

3d Congress

of the Comintern, Hotel Continental,

above

art

.

Education, Vkhutemas,

Moscow

Without catalogue

May 14-20 Third Exhibition of Unovis, Institute of Artistic Practice,

Vitebsk

Without catalogue

.

For

life.

for the sec-

June 15

Survey of New Trends Artistic Culture,

the goal of this form.

Suprematism

same

in Art,

Museum

Petrograd

Without a catalogue

intellectual.

ized

is

nothing else than that very

expressionism, however, not emotional but

While expressionists can be character-

as fully

lacking

formal

in

Suprematists, on the other hand,

geometrical forms (the square bol" for

all

Suprematists and

one's sleeves of coats all

and

is

is

the

principle,

strictly

adhere to

a "sacred sym-

sown on

every-

jackets) but this

is

difference ends. is

the most malevolent reaction

harmful reaction. Left

i.e.,

an especially

represented by

its

truly

revolutionary groups (Constructivism) must

piti-

art,

sever the links that

N. Taraburkin,

June 22-July 12

life

conform to

To which of these currents does Suprematism

lessly

Without catalogue

still

tie

it

to Suprematism.

Of molbert k masine {From

the Easel to the Machine), Moscow, 1923, p.

Moscow If

Without catalogue

art

life

conformance

in

life

under the banner of revolution, in

Exhibition of Provincial Art Schools at the

All-Russian Conference on Artistic

belong?

where

Unovis.

Unovis Exhibition

current places art above

current form

first

Rodchenko,

(Tatlin,

while the second places

art,

Suprematism June

the art of making things, stem-

Cezanne

and endeavors to make

less.

art or painterly culture in

as they will wither

The conquest

i.e.,

from

Stenbergi).

Suprematism (the highest and ultimate apocalyptic

the art of subjective and

and endeavors to change

There were quite a few works at the Unovis exhibition.

,..

(Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Kokoschka) and con-

structivism,

COMMENTARY

Romm,

i.e.,

figurative painting

in

emotional-anarchic forms stemming from Van

Without catalogue

A.

were before

as there

nonobjective

in

12 Malevich's black square

with

all

its

meager

on a white background,

artistic

sense, does contain a

painterly idea, called by the painter

"economy,"

or "fifth dimension," then Rodchenko's canvas

STUDIES IN

A UNOVIS STUDIO (MALEVICH

VITEBSK. 1921-22 State Russian

Museum.

257

St.

Petersburg

IS

AT THE 80ARDI.

of


Opened May .

COMMENTARY

17

Hue

Oast enif^iBHo

m*

8

.

Exhibition of Paintings of Petrograd

Nikolai Punin, "Gosudarstvennaia vystavka"

Artists of all Tendencies 1918- 1923,

("State exhibition"), Z/i/zn /s/cussfva, 1923

Academy

of Fine Arts, Petrograd

In

order to understand Suprematist painting

is

it

Unovis affirms the progressive development of the

necessary

system from Cubism to Futurism and Suprematism.

wise one's understanding of Suprematism as a

Cubist System

1253.

painterly

1254.

Still-Life;

Cubist Construction,

...

to enter the "sect" (Unovis), other-

phenomenon

do not belong to the

only be approximate.

will

I

and therefore my

"sect"

»1

1255.

.YHoBHC COAEP>kahv\e:

wP.APTHSHOnb B HCUVCtTSI M. KYHUM. iYHtWC » MACTBrtKWX I.

A XMAt

YOHATw^-MoP-re

„ Ak

1256.

Still-Life;

Still-Life;

1259.

MSI.

Violin;

Newspaper

Violin;

1262.

1264.

Still-Life;

Still-Life;

1263.

seller;

Futurist

System

1269.

Locomotive;

A H)a»m

BmTEKCK 192i1 • yiAmN<K*»

r.

flHBUFb.

M! !•.

COVER OF THE SECOND MAGAZINE UNOVIS.

Airplane;

Mil.

Skater; Electricity;

1273.

ing

or ideology

judgment'

Is

there

Suprematism?

in

is

also

in

order

more

paint-

of these

All

questions have been brusquely answered by

two

forms at the exhibition: two "white" canvases

Dynamic Construction; 1276.

without any signs whatsoever. Regardless of the intensity of the canvases, they

selves.

1279. Cubo-Suprematist Construction; 1280.

condition of the surfaces)

Section;

1282.

Suprematist Mirror;

1283.

31

Section;

1287. Suprematist Section;

1288.

Suprematist Construction; 1289. Suprematist Section;

Berlin; traveled to

1285. Suprematist Section; 1286. Suprema-

1290. Suprematist Section; 1291. Suprema-

do

not, of course,

in

and of them-

Moreover, their material condition (the

Suprematist System

Russian Art Exhibition, Galerie van

Museum, Amsterdam,

1275.

constitute any painterly value

tist

October 15-ca. December

concealed by the

is

artists.

The canvases are mounted

ceiling

and are meant

The purpose of these "pure" forms

and to

refer to, in the

below the

just

be seen at

to

a distance. is

to reveal,

language of painting, a cer-

under which

tain condition of the consciousness,

the tension ("excitement") of the Suprematist (but no other) disposition

close,

is

as far as

I

the Stedelijk

April 28 to

May

tist

Construction;

1292.

Suprematist Section;

28,

1293. Suprematist Construction; 1294. Suprema-

1923

tist

123. Suprematismus; 124. Suprematismus; 125.

Suprematismus; 126. Weiss auf Weiss (White on White); 127. Messerschleifer {Knife Sharpener) (not in

enough

Is it

canvases or

Movement of

Suprematist Section; 1284. Suprematist Construc-

Rakitin

Construction,

Section;

Umschlag, Lithographie.

1298.

Suprematist Section;

Portre; No. 608. Kompositie; 400.

1295.

Suprematist Section;

1296. Suprematist Section;

Amsterdam). Additions to Amster-

dam: No. 607.

the Suprematist system and ideology? just to look at the Suprematist

marine, Projector.

tion;

exhibited

1271.

rela-

Suprematist painting possible without

Cinema; Mil. Projector; MIS. Drawings, Sub-

tist

Diemen,

Is

to render a proper

1270.

Cubo-Suprematist Construction; 1281. Suprema-

VITEBSK,

JANUARY 1921

First

tive...

BMT.TROPKO/WA/HOSWt" Machine;

Vasilii

opinion of Suprematist painting can only be

necessary to pay attention to the words

Cubist Construction; 1268. Drawings.

Cubo-Futurist Construction; 1274.

Courtesy

Clock;

1265. Head; 1266. Head; 1267.

Movement of an M3/k,AH.

1258.

1260. Smoker; 1261

Still-Life,

Suprematist

Construction;

1301.

Suprematist

1299.

Suprematist

Section;

1302.

of the greatest importance here

is

canvas

itself

Suprematists

are

1308. Suprematist

when

asked whether anyone can

exhibit such a canvas they reply

necessary, an

1306. Suprematist Construction;

not the

the canvas into a painterly event. Thus

1304. Suprematist Section;

1305. Suprematist

recently. is

but the ideological system that turns

adding that for

1307. Suprematist Section;

January-March Kazimir Malevich: Twenty-five Years of Work, Museum of Painterly Culture,

Section;

1300.

which Malevich has spoken so much of

What

Suprematist Section; 1303. Suprematist Section;

Construction;

1923

1297. Suprematist

understand, to the painterly zero [nothing] about

the negative

in

this a great deal of inner tension

is

answer that seems paradoxical to us

non-Suprematists.

The introduction by Suprematism of an ideo-

Section; 1309. Suprematist Section; 1310.

Draw-

logical

system into painting reveals

/ngs Suprematist Cross Section;

Cufao-

origins

and leads to the conclusion that Suprema-

1311.

Suprematist Construction, 1312. Cubo-Suprematist

tism

Construction.

see

Moscow will

Without a catalogue

... is

in

and not of the its

rationalistic

secondary phenomenon. For what

painting above

painting

EXHIBITIONS

a

its

all

else

intellect

is

an

we

activity of the

We

independent significance,

recognize its

in

"milieu."


This

the reason

is

Matiushin-Malevich

I

COMMENTARY

counterpoise the FilonovV.

broad road

line to Tallin's

realism"], 4 S.

lutkevich, "Sukharnaia stolitsa" ("The

Let us try to

Rusk Capital"), LEF (No.

3,

"The only good canvas

the entire Unovis exhi-

bition

very

in

1923), p.

183

one

good prime

coating. Something could be

is

It

am

I

it

left,

referring to Kazimir Malevich.

important to pay serious attention to those

"gems" that are strewn about by Malevich

"On New Systems

"

done on

October revolution

understand the "art philosophy" of

art.

in

in his

Art."

Malevich appears here as an advocate of intu-

dimension"

"fifth

May 27-June8 of the

Museum

who

Khinton,

of Artistic Culture

Works of the Research Departments MKhK), Ginkhuk, Leningrad (Exhibition of

Something

111.

Suprematismo

=

forma

quadrata,

di croce. 113.

= forma rotonda; 346. Supremo = Chino =

planit,

348 Suprematismo

planit;

112.

347.

in architet-

tura;

349. Futuro = planit, 350. Planit di aviatore,

351

Planit di

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Not

all

like

It

much more

a

some

no need

of

them

going over

in

works were part of

in

He

."

The great "aesthetics

name

stylist is

Flaubert said

somewhere

only the highest justice ."

of this highest justice, in

sary for

us to cast

the

which must be con-

each genuine work of

centrated

that

In

away from

art,

neces-

it is

ourselves the

rubbish of nonobjectivism and epigonism

November 29-January 31, 1926 First Annual Exhibition of the Scientific Section of the Commisariat of Enlightenment, Historical Museum,

Moscow

mentary provisions"; and

which they've

is

1926

on these

provisions,

Architecture, Palace of Fine Arts,

life until

very recently. to "con"

Just

group of Suprematist

first

Planits:

Calm, two original drawings, 1924; nonobjecSuprematist

Plamt-Construction;

Suprematism-Future

Unovis-

of the Earth

Planits (Houses)

Dwellers (People), original drawing, 1923

what about the

a minute Citizen Malevich, but

and one

tenet "that labor shall rule the world"

problems

the basic provisions of the Soviet Constitution "he

who

Studies for the

tive

makes an appeal

point 12 Malevich

Modern Warsaw

First

the Maleviches have lived a free and easy

In

27-March 25

International Exhibition of

of comple-

from the revolution, that

elicited

February

"way

the

it is

Without catalogue

the "bless-

does not need

certainly

point 14 there

all

the exhibition due to last-minute organizational

does not work does not eat?" There

is

of

no

May 30-June

15

Retrospective Exhibition of Works of the Institute of Artistic Culture for the Scholastic Year 1925- 1926, Ginkhuk,

logic here.

Leningrad

1925

Are these the ravings of a paranoiac? Or are these "revelations" of the prophet from Vitebsk a

April

Maleviches

of the

all

are a real "revelation."

sider labor a vestige of the violent old world.

un Sanatono.

of Malevich's cited

is

would-

a manifesto: the establishment of

is

ings of heaven."

them, as

Suprematismo

in

point 15 Malevich renounces

In

July

Suprmatismo= forma

write about this

There

in art.

points, but

19-September 30 Fourteenth International Exhibition of Art, Soviet Pavilion, Giardini, Venice

was the

the fine arts led by the

in

interesting way.

"a"

Without catalogue

hopelessly weak.

him to learn from Uspensky or

hurt for

n't

is

dimension

fourth

(the

not enough for him)

Retrospective Exhibition of the Activities

inkling that the

Everything that Malevich writes about the

ition.

1924

we had no

appears that

it

forerunner of the October Revolution

goda AkhRR (Moscow, 1926

of the founders of the extreme, so-called

currents in

an absolutely pure, white canvas with a

is

Now

Perelman, ["From the itinerants to heroic

28-?

International Exhibition of Decorative

and Industrial Modern

Arts,

Grand

brazen mockery of years

five

terrevolutionary

Palais, Paris

them Suprematist porcelain forms by Malevich deco-

drivel,

taken

Opened September 13- 7 Left Currents in Russian Painting of the

Culture,

Moscow

Without catalogue

Museum

of Painterly

common

artists

sense? For nearly

have been fed

nonsense which

this

has

coun-

caused

great harm. Instead of the life-giving force

authentic mass art they were taught this

of

rated by his students.

Last Fifteen Years,

young

and there were some in

After

by all

claim that ary

and

fools

who were

they have the unmitigated

"Cubism and Futurism were

movements

COMMENTARY Letter

from V Yermolayeva to M. Larionov,

July 17, 1926:

The exhibition with which rent year,

in art

political revolution

anticipating the

of 1917."

gall to

assistants,

revolution-

where we

economic

we

and which included

models by Malevich

it!

this

Without catalogue

and

concluded the cur-

several architectonic

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; about 25, and by

also the research

dig about in painting

his direct

departments

itself

and

color; in

in

the con-

the structure of color,

in

color fields

structions of the form;

in

everything specific that

259


from photography and the

differentiates the artist

May 14-September 30

movies, advertising, newspapers, books and other

We

carriers of current ideas.

for the its

first

own

orbit

and that

its

if

are obliged to clarify

time that painting

in

and of

itself

culture, having

has

Special Exhibition of Malevich. Greater

t

*

Berlin Art Exhibition, Lehrter Bahnhof, Berlin

k

reached

308. Sonderausstellung

the second stage of Cubism, has ended forever

and can only go backwards from Cezanne to Corot, softer and flabbier; that 100 percent of

has already been achieved and modernity

work only will

go

in color;

and

all

into architecture,

in

it

will

the art of the plastic

Petersburg

St.

At The Great Berlin Art Exhibition there

were empty.

This

is

a

relating to

from

E.

F.

each other

Kovtun, M. M. Babana-

D. Gazieva,

in

a certain

way and

The exhibition begins with Perhaps there

is

But the theoretician does not speak of

abstraction, without any regard as to

He

it.

development through cubism and

his

sumption, of from a lack of blood which

Museum, Moscow

Suprematist Art

in

the

by

Construction

of

Three-Dimensional Objects Suprematist Order

something

even though he

lays claim to taking

God

is

b/Una

some

the supplementary and corrected cata-

logue edition, Malevich's works are absent.

is

irrationality in this,

man who would

reality;

being

like

some

sort of is

to be God,

realistic

well,

texture. This

his architectural

is

in

form

the point of

sketches

in

which

in

is

who

one can

three-dimensional constructions reappear

the area of the latest conquest of painting

the world of illusory space.

The

madness

but there

believes that with a richness of ideas

defend works of

There

the pride of a

something of the gramophone as

men-

varied

end only white on

at the

faded paintings lacking

and enlivened only by departure for

first

illu-

the place of

new forms.

there

in

carried

of

the ideas of Plato;

the invention of

escape from

in this

c/Theta

in

like

and multicolored but white resulting

emasculated, even though he produces the sion of creation,

the lord

a/Alfa

He makes the impression

reality.

futurism to conclude with the works already tioned. Planes are applied to planes, at

Suprematism could die of abstractionist con-

and Architecture of the

Association of Painters "Four Arts," Historical

whether

anyone has ever used them.

Exhibition of Paintings, Graphics, Sculpture,

Impressionist

and Post-Impressionist paintings and organically follows

October 31 -November

his

a lyricism in this.

Avangard, ostanovlennyi na

(Leningrad: Izd-vo "Avrora," 1989).

In

wide-

a

in cer-

speaks only of forms which he creates out of

is

combination of purely ranging display of the oeuvre of the Russian

tain proportions.

159.

Das

Kunstblatt (Berlin, 1927), No. 7

Courtesy State Russian Museum,

painter encompassing his entire development.

— Quoted begu

Ernst Kallai, "Kazimir Malevich,"

1927

abstract and actual geometric bodies and planes,

very soon.

E.

30,

which the classicism

of the epoch will be completed, although not

zarova,

COMMENTARY

MALEVICH'S EXHIBITION AT THE GROBE BERLINER

KUNSTAUSSTELLUNG, BERLIN, MAY 7-SEPTEMBER

est a

last

paintings were painted at the very

few years ago.

All

of the

or declare architectural goals.

new works

It is

quite difficult to

imagine what further development possible

lat-

pursue

painting

in

beyond what has been achieved

is

— white

on white planes.

art.

Malevich's oeuvre deserves to be the object of

1927

Konrad

Vinkler, [The Exhibition of Prof.

attention.

March 20-25

Malevich

Exhibition of Kazimir Malevich, Club of

the Theory of Suprematism], Kurier Poranny

Polish Artists, Hotel Polonia,

Warsaw

Without catalogue

Spirit

tilizes

COMMENTARY

the Club of Polish Artists and

March

(No. 89,

The

in

these undertakings

abstraction,

the article "Idea and Form. Essays on the

the creative process.

Development of

Polish Art"]

(Warsaw,

That staff of

Suprematism

is

has set forth

its

authentic abstract principles in

art.

Malevich

Warsaw. Although

they were simple, exalted, and puritanical, they

is

in

the sphere of pure

which are carried to an extreme and

absurd

level,

overvaluing the metaphysical side of

why

the metaphysical and theoretical

could be brought to bear against

this current.

EXHIBITIONS

possesses a strong individual original-

West European resonance

with profoundly Russian characteristics.

individuality

A. V. Lunacharsky, "Russkie

khudozhniki

v Berline" ("Russian Artists

in Berlin"),

Ogoniok, No. Lunacharsky,

30,

Ob

1927 (Quoted from: A.V. iskusstve

"Iskusstvo," 1982), vol.

Suprematism has two ends, one of which

doubt on the

It

that organically links

30, 1927), p. 3

of Russian mysticism and alienation fer-

Jan Klescinski, Suprematism [excerpt from

ca. 1931)

ity

of

the

it

and

cast

creator

of

2,

{On

art)

(Moscow:

pp. 214-16.

Russian artists have taken up a prominent position at the exhibition. First of

mous

room

dedicated

to

all

there a

is

an enor-

retrospective,

systematic exhibition of the oeuvre of our

"Suprematist" Malevich.

famous


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

The

Malevich,

artist

in spite

approach to painting

his

master

It

of the exclusivity of

November 1-?

of course, a great

New

not surprising that

is

more

the

in

a country

and

synthetic

suc-

Without catalogue

courageous

Malevich would also find favor, especially after

his

1928

present turn towards hard and harsh painting. here that Malevich has been able for the

It is

time to exhibit

his

work

in

and the "lubok," Malevich

icon

who

cist

and

is

February

6-? of the History of Applied

First Exhibition

models the

his

like

first

man-

a comprehensive

ner... Severe and assiduous

Currents in Art, State Russian

Museum, Leningrad

where

Kandmsky could be

the incomprehensible cessful,

is,

Art, Institute of Art History,

Leningrad

at heart a classi-

Without catalogue does not permit

his colors to

intermingle

MALEVICH'S INSTALLATION

thus, so to speak, lose their essence.

ART. STATE RUSSIAN

COMMENTARY his

In

genre Malevich has achieved considerV.

shown

able results and

such canvases

am

skill.

don't

I

know

if

be produced after him, but

will

sure that his

great

I

already applied by the late

style,

Popova as a decorative method, could have a great future

Art"),

In

Malevich's latest works exhibited

he

in Berlin

and resolves the same problems but

in

the

Malevich

in his

experimental work endeavors to

for architecture

and

in

question are very pale and practically in it

seems

all

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; can

be differentiated by texture alone and not by

industry.

color.

possible not to value Malevich's paintings,

is

that

is,

not receive any pleasure from them.

Looking at

his

works, however,

it is

impossible not

to recognize his talent, persistence

and the

artistic

October 6 -November 3

He develops

in

Composition

71.

November

artistic

he discovered

earlier

three dimensions the

for

plane constructions. Malevich called his models

emphasizing

their

nonobjective

-?

Works of Malevich, State

Tretiakov Gallery,

(in

same

1

Exhibition of

basis of the system of

rhythm and order of forms that he discovered

Arkhitektons,

Sculpture, Kunsthaus, Zurich

which can be applied

construction and

He works on the

Suprematism which 1913).

It

areas of

that the surfaces

white-cream, pale pink, rough on smooth

Petersburg

St

Abstract and Surrealist Painting and

The models, compo-

things.

nents and fragments exhibited by him are meant to establish a definite style

one-toned At times

Museum,

1929

problem of the new decorative design

piano, pianissimo rather than forte mode. The

works

NEW CURRENTS IN

Zhizn iskusstva (Leningrad),

February 28, 1928, no. 9

resolve the

posits

THE EXHIBITION

iskusstvoznania" ("Exhibition of Applied

respect.

in this

Stale Russian

Yermolaieva, "Vystavka prikladnovo

IN

MUSEUM, LENINGRAD. NOVEMBER 1927

Moscow

30. Square, 1913; 31. Circle, 1913; 32. in Intersection,

Two Planes

Red Square,

1913; 33.

1914; 34.

Untitled (Suprematist Object), n.d.; 35

Untitled

(Suprematist

Untitled

Object),

36.

n.d.;

exis-

content

(Suprematist Object), n.d

;

37 Untitled (Suprema-

tence of a system Object), n.d.; 50. Four Architektons, ca

tist

The problem

arises

when

Malevich stops paint-

ing

and begins to write brochures.

the

Germans were

ings.

I

theoretical

"Suprematists." to try to

heard that

also taken aback by his writ-

made an attempt

and obscure

I

to read the grandiloquent

works by the leader

link his

goals and path with

the revolution and with God.

Plastic Artists,

Exhibition: The Apartment,

International Exhibition of Plans

Models

in

the

and

New Art of Building,

Interim Theaterplatz beim

Neuen

Schloss,

Stuttgart 1

Architectural Model,

Warsaw

68. Suprematist Painting

November- December Exhibition of Works of the State Commissions for the Acquisition of Works Gallery,

23-October 9

Werkbund

Sei-en

in

1927-28, State Tretiakov

Moscow

COMMENTARY A. Fiodorov-Davydov, "Iskusstvo K. K. S.

Moscow: State Tretiakov

Gallery, 1929,

pp.

Malevich"),

6, 9.

But soon the

breaking

it

artist

down

he rearranges 384. Suprematist Architekton and Plamt

S.

Malevicha" ("The Art of

completely rejects the object,

into

in

its

component

position

(Cubism,

parts,

1911-12)

in

an arbitrary com-

He breaks down

objects to their basic geometric forms

two

which

different combinations, taken

from different points of view

square,

452 Architectural Model

1922,

Fragments of Architektons

Modernist Salon, Salon of the Union of

of Fine Art July

and

of the

manner he seems

a confused

In

somehow

March 10- 7

intersecting planes)

(circle,

and turns them

into the basis of his abstract Cubist constructions

261


The

logical

jective art

outcome

of this

was

abstract

nonob-

1930

movement

transmission of "pure"

Ca. April-June

space and

in

themes

having

no way

this in

own

their

works

interferes with his

objective

significance

Suprematist painting has already achieved

His

its

goal

and other areas of the decorative

arts.

architects are

showing a great deal of

interest in his "planits"

and "Architektons." The

Western

great imagination and expressiveness of his well-

developed forms provide a wealth of material for

workings

COMMENTARY

Malevicha v Kievskoi Kartinnoi Galeree"

K. S.

Radziansko mistetstvo

at a

well-known point, some

whether consciously or ceiving colors

the

Malevich

artist

that Malevich nal artist

in a

who,

is

artists,

not, begin to avoid per-

normal way. The example of is

only typical.

It

well

is

known

an extremely energetic and

origi-

several years ago, painted paintings

with bright and powerful colors. At the same time

he also painted red squares and black

ently

in

white") and

Now it

is

even

calm,

now

pale

Malevich at the his activity of all

("white

in

what form

best to look at red color he replies:

course,

in

on

squares were painted black.

his

he answers the question as to

"of

— Quoted from:

I.

V.

Stati,

Kliun,

Moi put

v iskusstve:

dnevniki (My Path

in

Art:

is

by no means and epigone and

of the artistic thought of the West.

He has always made

K.S.

artist

at

the past thirty-five years. However,

development of

works on

exhibition

somewhat

and

display,

this

represented by the

prolific artist are

own

his

their

the oeuvre of K

in

apogee The

resulted

thing

is

a

in

makes the

this

now

Malevich reached

S

definitive

in

nonobjectivity The real

completely removed,

is

it

In this

not even period he

order to reveal "pure" space, "pure"

movement, "pure" called

paint... His tendency

Suprematism

is

now

— a name he himself created.

Suprematism brought him to the

that the old figurative art

1)

the square; 2) the

secting

These

planes.

a

circle

3)

two

inter-

elements

white background. According to Malevich

become more complex

as they

"RA": Literaturno-khudozhestvennoe agentstvo

culture will be created.

Beginning the

final

in

stage of

new

EXHIBITIONS

his

foreign to proletarian

is

he, as a bourgeois

artist,

needs

art

form

society but only for the sake of is

that

not for serving

subjectively distant

from the

new life of our republic, Malevich, who has done much for the development of art in the age of industrialization,

His influence

porcelain, "

may

now

ing problems

objectively be useful in solv-

faced by our

can be seen

textiles,

luboks. "...

It is

bition of the

in this

in

artistic

culture...

the production of

printing,

posters

and

formal sense that the exhi-

works of Malevich

at the gallery

could be useful to the Soviet viewer

Exhibition of Works of the State

new

Commission Arts,

for the Acquisition of Plastic

1928-29, State Tretiakov Gallery,

Moscow 80.

K.

S.

Malevich, Leningrad, 2 Soiuza Sviazi

Street, apt. 5

125. "Arkhitekton. Planit

painted, plaster.

Workshop

— Monument motif"

"(4 Arts)"

Pr.

1929-30

artistic

1931-1932

work which continues

abandoned

architectural

industrialization.

a

out which

1922-23 Malevich moves on

day. Malevich has

creating

art,

the wonderful

work conveys the notion

are

and cross are painted

these elements are the future of

artists.

of

June 8-?

and

three

all

realization

represented at the exhibition by three canvases on

on

devel-

culture. His entire

— three basic formu-

circle;

on

spite

tion of his artistic activity

was dead

to establish three elements

las:

artistic

aspects of Malevich's creative work, the founda-

The task of Suprematism according to Malevich is

in

Although he

logical conclusion of this activity

used to solve formal problems. creates

contributions.

Europe by discovering certain formal

in

However,

incomplete.

Reminiscences, Articles, Diaries) (Moscow: Izd-vo

"Russkii avangard," 1999), p. 368.

for this.

Sometimes he has even anticipated

opments

backward glance

a

is

of the stages of

which a black square,

the round one."

Vospominaniia,

art gallery

forty-five

to paint differ-

hues

he

art,

mere follower

aspects of art before European

His

circles

"points" as he called them. Time passed, his tem-

perament abated and he began

S.

(Kiev, 1930), no. 14

The exhibition of the works of the

dencies

seems that

Artist K.

Beginning with 1913, the abstract-formal ten-

(1931), no. 2

work

the Kiev Picture Gallery"),

in

I.

It

Works of the

("Exhibition of the

extremely V. Kliun, "Problema tsveta v zhivopisi 1928-1929" ("The Problem of Light in Painting 1928-1929"), Maliamoie Delo

by foreign

Yefimovich, "Vistavka tvoriv khudozhnika

S.

not

architects.

up the

Even though Malevich was greatly influenced

Malevich in textiles

executed

all

also taking

is

different colors. His painted Suprematist

in

planits are the preparatory

rather than real projects.

and a dreamer-philosopher.

a subjectivist

is

However,

Without catalogue

Malevich

question of painting different parts of the buildings

works are abstract thoughts

now

white, but

Picture Gallery, Kiev

architectural

He

in

Solo Exhibition of Malevich's Works, Kiev

(Suprematism). His architectural

architectural structures that

are represented at the exhibition are

the free combinations of simple geometric forms

on

The designs for the

(1913-18) and the conditions for the

painting

in

to

to this

favor of

forms for the age of

June

Art

1

in

5-early 1932

Age of Imperialism, Museum, Leningrad

the

Russian

Without catalogue

State


1933-34

ing with the contours of abstract compositions

and June 27-March? Artists of the

RSFSR of the Past Fifteen

and Malevich were

Tatlin

Red

Girl

New

Image; 510

with

1932, 509. Prototype of

Staff.

Sketch for Abstract

Woman

1933; 511

Portrait,

Woman's

Worker, 1933; 512.

Portrait.

Moscow); Suprematism

THE EXHIBITION ART OF THE EPOCH

Tretiakov

OF IMPERIALISM. STATE RUSSIAN MUSEUM. LENINGRAD, 1931-32 Courtesy Stale Russian Museum.

(State

Composition

(Dynamic Suprematism) (State Tretiakov

Petersburg

St

Moscow);

Gallery,

Gallery,

Moscow) November -February 1932 Experimental Comprehensive Exhibition of Art from the Age of Capitalism, State

Years, State Russian

1227

Designs

for

Museum, Leningrad

Household Implements:

1228. Arkhitektons Alfa, Beta and others, 1929

Ornaments

Architectural

b,

a,

c,

Theme of Architectural Monuments Squares:

a,

b,

c,

d,

e,

Memorial Land of the Square.; 1238.

1230-35 Parks

Column

1236.

1913; 1239.

and

for the

1237

Soviets;

Red Square,

in

Black

Dynamic

Color Composition; 1240. Decoration of Walls; 1241

The

—drawing;

Suprematist Plane-Table Principle

of Wall-Paintings.

1919;

ensconced

etc., are

tion of the exhibition.

Suprematism. Arkhitektons.

Spatial

("Formalism no.

also taken

up

developing

in

demise of formalism;

this

position

of

is

now

has

Painting"), Iskusstvo (1933),

in

41 in

any branch of the

now

is

arts,

but especially

the major form of bourgeois

limits of

seen from

entire

group...

"form"

kills

itself.

the impoverishment

utmost

abstractedness,

come

— knights

of

black

squares and geometric in

planes

completely deny any ideological content

The leaders of the remnants of

this

who

in art...

tendency are

Malevich, Kliun, Suetin.

The

"constructivist system of form-paint" as

an

with the logical consistency of people completely

clearly

this

content, art has unavoidably it

ready to

can be

and an enormous severing of form from

dead end:

is

the realism of 1630.

end

of

maximum

reality,

"purity"

art into indus-

who

so as to bring about the

Abstraction "from content"

Having reached the

has

Tatlin

his position there. Soviet art

way

isolated

it's

combinations of evenly colored

a separate sec-

in

The well-known

such a

the

6, p.

painting

ter

and nonobjectivists ("Black

of formalists

Square"),

poured

Suprematists, artists without any subject mat-

Thoughts on Soviet

Art"), Izvestiia (July 11, 1933), no. 172, p. 3

November 13-May 1933 RSFSR of the Past Fifteen

as long

realist

who

retrospectivist,

influence.

Without catalogue

Artists of the

is

in

posi-

O. Beskin, "Formalizm v zhivopisi"

"Nekotorie mysli o sovetskoi

zhivopisi" ("Several

A group

a Futurist

is

and the other

try

Formalism

COMMENTARY

Moscow

Tretiakov Gallery,

One

tions

in

N. Bukharin,

comrades

Square (State

Exhibits not in catalogue: Black IN

initially

arms but have ended up taking opposing

be a

Tretiakov Gallery, MALEVICH'S INSTALLATION

which imitates

figure,

of Clouet [Klue],

Museum, Moscow

Years, Historical

508

human

finishing with a

the models of French portrait painting of the time

to

its

come up end

...

against a

in

was taken by the

itself

divorced from

reality

the proletarian "paintings"

became

tions of planes, lines.

ors

Only

and

in

and the

masses,

to

real its

nonobjectivists,

requirements of extreme.

Their

purely geometrical construc-

three-dimensional figures and

the combinations of contrasting col-

the

contours

themselves

was

the

abstraction

1242.

"from content" means the death of painting...

1243.

Here one can see the dead end of bourgeois

art.

Formula of Spatial Suprematism; 1244. Spatial Suprematism:

Dynamic Coloring,

1916;

Spatial Suprematism, 1920, 1246. Little Field;

1245

House

in

a

1247 Harvest, 1248. Colored Composition:

Female Torso on Light Blue; 1249 Colored Compositions: Portrait;

Female Torso on White; 1250. Woman's

1251.

the Field;

Red House, 1252

1253.

Two

Figures in

Colored Composition:

Three

A. Efros, "Vchera, sevodnia, zavtra"

("Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow"), Iskusstvo (1933), no. 6, p. 41

Malevich,

the father of Suprematism, colonst,

geometer and apologist of abstract

architecture,

has presented the exhibition with an unexpected gift:

he has declared

Figures;

1254 Red Cavalry, 255 Sportsmen; 1256

proof of

Woman

with a Rake: Colored Composition

which he expresses

his

his return to realism

conversion his

—a

series of

and sent

works

in

movement towards con-

temporary realism. Sounds good!

MALEVICH AT THE EXHIBITION ARTISTS OF THE RSFSR OF THE PAST In reality

things FIFTEEN YEARS. STATE RUSSIAN

are different

Imagine a series of canvases,

start-

Courtesy Vasiln Rakitm

263

MUSEUM. LENINGRAD, 1932


"essence" of

this garret-anarchist "riot." Logical

conclusion: Malevich's solitary Black Square as the

highest achievement

And

this

stuck

in

in art; a

complete dead end.

dead end of a nonldeological, feeble

art

the rear of the most reactionary ideology

of European art

was proclaimed

as the death of

art itself.

P.

Kerzhentsev,

"O

Tretiakovskoi galeree"

("On the Tretiakov Gallery"), Pravda (June For

7,

1936)

some

reason

management

the

Tretiakov gallery considers

even

Kandinsky's

"Composition" in

works

absurd

the

Kandinsky.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

clearly

the

and

Malevich

of

"painting"

an

of

necessary to exhibit

it

ironic

is

called

name, because

these formless lines and light blots there

chaos, typical of the

management

of

artist

the

and

Tretiakov

respectfully exhibited such a

as Malevich's Black Square. field

there

is

what

Gallery

is

The even

mockery of a work

On

a

framed white

a big black square. Really, such a

profound thought! What nique,

his thinking.

color,

what

a high level of tech-

a brilliant representation

of an era.

MALEVICH LYING Courtesy

EXHIBITIONS

Vasilii

IN

STATE

Rakitm

IN HIS

APARTMENT, LENINGRAD, 1935


,

X o

3j

o c n -i

This index includes only

works by

Elongated Square with Crossing Elements, 1915, 136

Kazimir Malevich Fabric

Ornament, 1919, 219

Fabric

Ornament No,

Alogic Composition, 1914-15, 112 Alogic Composition,

fall

15,

1919,218

1914-spnng 1915, 108

Alogic Composition, 1915, 113

Arms Spread Forming 1930-31,233

Alogic Composition, 1915, 115

Foursquares, 1915, 125

Alogic Composition, 1915, 116

Future Planits (Houses) for Earth Dwellers (People),

Figure with

a Cross,

1923-24,211

Alogic Composition 4a, 1915, 117 Alogical Composition: Design for Victory

Over the

Sun (Strongman), 1913, 102

Gota, 1923,206

Alpha Architekton, 1920, 204

Head

(Face with

Orthodox

Cross),

1930-31, 237

Basic Suprematist Element, The, 1927, 16

Beta Architekton, ca. 1926,

205

Lady at Advertising Column, 1914, 105

Black Cross, 1915, 121 Black Square, 1915,

Composition

11 R,

119

Modern

1915-16, 169

Composition 12

R,

1915, 159

Composition 17

R,

1915, 138

Painterly Realism in

Mona

Lisa.

Boy with Knapsack

the Fourth Dimension,

Pictorial

1

91

Realism of a Peasant

5,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Color Masses

128

Woman

in

Two

Dimensions, Called Red Square, 1915, 127

Composition 21 C, 1915, 139 Composition with

1923-24, 214

Buildings,

Plane

1914, 106

in

Rotation, Called Black Circle, 1915,

Private of the First Division, 1914,

120

107

Construction 12 Q, 1916, 181 Construction, ca. 1915, 114

Construction:

Two

Views, ca. 1925-26, 215

Cubo-Futurist Composition:

Man Smoking

Second Basic Suprematist Element, The, 1927, 19 Square and Oval (Construction 20

a Pipe, ca.

I),

1915-16, 170

1913, 111

Cup and

Saucer, 1923,

Study for a Cosmic Arrangement,

223

ca.

1917, 189

Study for the decor of Wcfo/y Over the Sun.

Cup, 1923,222

1913, 103

Cup, 1923,222

Study for the decor of Victory Over the Sun, Act

Scene

1,

Design for a Suprematist Dress, 1923, 220

Study for the decor of Victory Over the Sun, Act

Design for a Suprematist Dress, 1923, 221

Scene

2,

Scene

3,

1

1913, 99

Study for the decor of Victory Over the Sun, Act

Dissolution of a Plane, 1917, 191

1

1913, 98

1

1913, 99

Drawing Related to House Under Construction, Study for the decor of Victory Over the Sun, Act

1915, 155

Scene

Dynamic Suprematism (Spheric Evolution 1918, 199

Study for the decor of Victory Over the Sun, Act 5,

Scene

6,

1913, 101

Suprematism (18th Construction), 1915, 141 Elongated Plane, 1915, 123 Elongated Square, 1927, 26

INDEX

2,

1913, 100

57), 1916, 166

Study for the decor of Wcfo/y Over the Sun, Act

Dynamic Suprematism, 1916, 176

I,

1913, 101

of a Plane),

Scene

Dynamic Suprematism (Supremus No.

4,

Suprematism (Construction 1918, 203

in

Dissolution),

2,


Suprematism

(Hieratic Suprematist Cross),

1920-21,228 Suprematism (Mystic Suprematism), 1920-22, 230 Suprematism (Mystic Suprematism), 1920-22, 231

Suprematist Architekton, 1926 207

Untitled (Study for

Suprematist Architectural Model, 1927, 209

Untitled (Suprematist Composition), ca

Suprematist Compositions (Compositions ca.

1

Suprematist Composition with Plane

Suprematism (Supremus No

50),

1915, 20, 151

Suprematist Composition, 1915-16, 168

Suprematism (Supremus No

55), 1916,

164

Suprematist Composition: Airplane Flying, 1915, 145

Suprematism (Supremus No.

56), 1916, 165

Suprematist Design (Aerial View of a Landscape with

in Projection,

1915, 131

1915,22, 147

Suprematism (White Suprematist

Cross), 1920,

229

Suprematist Elements), ca

1928, 217

Suprematist Diagonal Construction 79 (Supremus No.

Suprematism No. 55 (Spheric Evolution of a

Plane), 79).

1917, 187

1917, 195

Suprematist Element at the

Suprematism of the Mind (Suprematism of the

Spirit),

Moment

of Dissolution of

Sensation (Nonobjectivity), 1927, 40

1920, 227

Suprematist Group (White) Sensation of Dissolution

Suprematism, 1915, 137

(Nonexistence), 1927, 37

Suprematism, 1915, 144

Suprematist Group, Derived from the Square,

Suprematism, 1915, 150

1927,39

Suprematism, 1915, 161

Suprematist Ornaments, 1927, 208

Suprematist Painting (White Planes

Suprematism, 1915, 163

Suprematism

Circle

Among

Rectangles and Triangles,

in Dissolution),

1917-18, 202 Suprematist Painting, 1915, 153

1915, 156

Suprematism Constructive (Compositions 10

T),

Momentum

Suprematist Painting, 1916, 177

1917, 184

Suprematist Painting, 1916-17,

178

Suprematism: Female Figure, 1928-29. 232

Suprematist Painting, 1917-18, 193

Suprematism: Female Figure, 1928-29, 233

Suprematist Painting: Black Rectangle, Blue Triangle,

Suprematism: Four Spatial Elements Against a Black Trapezoid, 1915,

134

Suprematism: Intersecting Planes, Fading (Planes Dissolution), 1917,

1915, 143 in

198

Supremus No.

18,

1916-17, 185

Supremus No. 38. 1916. 183

Suprematism: Large Black Trapezium and Red Square

Among

1915. 24 129

Suprematist Painting: Eight Red Rectangles,

Suprematism: Horizontally Divided, 1916, 171

Rectangles and Lines. 1915, 154

Supremus No. 58 with Yellow and Black Study), 1916, 186

(Preliminary

Suprematism: Nonobjective Composition, 1915, 160

Suprematism

Painterly Realism of a Football Player

(Color Masses

in

the Fourth Dimension),

1915. 24 146

Table

ca

No

Table No. Tailor,

Suprematism: Square on a Diagonal Surface,

Formula of Suprematism,

1925-26. 212

Suprematism: Sensation of the Electron, 1916, 182 Suprematism: Sensation of Time, 1915, 157

1

ca

3.

Spatial

Suprematism,

ca.

1925-26, 213

1915, 109

Teapot and

Lid,

1923,225

Third Basic Suprematist Element, The, 1927, 18. 93

1915, 133

Three Basic Suprematist Elements

Suprematism: Three Intersecting Planes,

in

Contrast,

1927,91

Fadmg/Suprematism: Four Intersecting Planes, Fading (Planes in Dissolution), 1917,

196

Three Irregular Quadrangles, 1915, 135

Suprematism: Two Intersecting Planes.

Fadmg/Suprematism: Three Intersecting Planes, Fading (Planes

in Dissolution),

1917, 197

173

1916, 175

Yellow and Black (Supremus No. 58), 1916, 167

Dimensions),

(Self-Portrait in

55). 1916.

E),

1917,235

Two

Suprematism

Supremus No.

Untitled (Black Face

and Orthodox

Cross),

1930-31, 236

267


o o o c en en

Honorary Trustees in

Solomon

R.

Jon Imanol Azua

Guggenheim

Thannhauser

Justin K.

o

Trustees

Perpetuity

Peggy Guggenheim

Mary Sharp Cronson Gail

Honorary Chairman

>

Peter M. Brant

Peter Lawson-Johnston

May

Engelberg

Daniel Filipacchi

Martin D. Gruss Frederick

B.

Henry

Chairman

David H. Koch

Peter B. Lewis

Thomas Krens Peter Lawson-Johnston

Vice-Presidents

Wendy

L-J.

Peter Lawson-Johnston

McNeil

Peter

Stephen C. Swid

John

S.

Wadsworth,

Director

Thomas Krens

F.

Lutnick

Wendy

L-J.

McNeil

Edward

H.

Rover

Meyer

Vladimir 0. Potanin Frederick

Secretary

Edward

Jr.

Lewis

B.

Howard W.

W. Reid

Richard A. Rifkind

Denise Saul

Honorary Trustee Claude Pompidou

Terry

Trustees Ex Officio

Raja

Dakis Joannou

Benjamin

B.

Rauch

Semel

James

B.

Sherwood

W. Sidawi

Seymour Slive Stockman

Jennifer

Stephen C. Swid

TRUSTEES

Wadsworth,

Director Emeritus

John

Thomas M. Messer

John Wilmerding

S.

Jr.


Photo Credits 18-19. Photo: Kupferstichkabinett, Offentliche

16,

Kunstsammlung Basel; 20, 22. Courtesy Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; 23. Courtesy Solomon R.

Guggenheim Museum, New York, 24. Courtesy Photo: Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; 26. Kupferstichkabinett, Offentliche Kunstsammlung Basel; 27. Courtesy Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 39-40. Photo: Kupferstichkabinett, Offentliche

37,

Kunstsammlung Basel; 44, 46. © State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg; 47. Courtesy Vasiln Rakitin; 52. Courtesy Institute of Modern Russian Culture, Los Angeles; 78, 81 83, 86, 88. © State Russian Museum, ,

Petersburg,

St.

Museum,

Russian

Photo:

91.

Offentliche

©

92.

Basel;

Petersburg;

St.

Kupferstichkabinett,

93.

Russian

Museum,

St.

Onikul,

courtesy

St.

Theatre

&

Center

Cultural Stedelijk

101

Music;

Onikul, courtesy

&

Theatre

Stedelijk Stedelijk

102-03.

Music;

Center

Cultural

State Vilij

of

Amsterdam/

Courtesy

Museum

of

Foundation

Amsterdam/

Khardzhiev-Chaga,

Museum, Amsterdam, 105. Courtesy Museum, Amsterdam; 106. © State Russian

Museum, St. Modern

of

©

Petersburg; 107. Art,

New

York;

2001 The

Schalchli; 109. Rheinisches Bildarchiv,

Courtesy Foundation

Cultural

Museum

Photo:

108.

Peter

Cologne, 111.

Center

Khardzhiev-

Chaga, Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; 112. Courtesy private collection,

113. Photo: Peter

Schalchli; 114. Rheinisches Bildarchiv,

Cologne; 115

Photo: Peter Schalchli; 116. Collection of Hiroshima Prefectural Art

©

119.

by

Museum;

1

17. Photo: Peter Schalchli;

State Tretiakov Gallery,

Moscow; 120. Photo

©

CNAC/MNAM/Dist.

Peter

121.

Schalchli;

Reunion des Musees Nationaux/Art Resource, NY; 123. Photo: Peter Schalchli; State

Museum

Schalchli;

128.

125. Courtesy

ROSIZO

Exhibition Center, 127. Photo: Peter

©

CNAC/MNAM/Dist. Reunion des

Musees Nationaux/Art Resource, NY, 129. Courtesy Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; 131. Photo: Peter Schalchli;

Center

133-36.

Foundation

Courtesy

Khardzhiev-Chaga,

Museum, Amsterdam;

137.

Cultural

Amsterdam/Stedelijk Rheinisches Bildarchiv,

Cologne; 138-39. Photo: Peter Schalchli; 141, 143.

Courtesy

Museum,

Stedelijk

Courtesy ROSIZO State 145.

© 2001

146-47,

Museum

Amsterdam;

Courtesy Stedelijk

144.

Exhibition Center;

The Museum of Modern

Art,

New

York;

Museum, Amsterdam;

149. Rheinisches Bildarchiv, Cologne; 150-51, 153.

Courtesy Stedelijk

Museum, Amsterdam, 154-57.

Courtesy Foundation

Cultural Center KhardzhievChaga, Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam;

159. Photo: Peter Schalchli; 160. Courtesy ROSIZO State

Museum

Exhibition Center; 161, 163.

State Russian

Photo:

Peter

©

State

©

©

Tate,

Museum,

St.

170.

Schalchli,

Rheinisches Bildarchiv, Cologne; 171, Courtesy Foundation Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga, Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; 173. Rheinisches Bildarchiv, Cologne; Heald;

175. Photo: David

Cologne;

Rheinisches Bildarchiv,

176.

177.

Museum, Amsterdam; 179. © 2001 The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 181 Courtesy Stedelijk

Photo; Peter Schalchli; 182-84. Courtesy Foundation

Center

©

165.

Petersburg; 166

St.

Museum, Amsterdam,

101 (bottom). Photo:

Petersburg State

St.

168-69.

Petersburg;

Center;

Stedelijk

Museum

Khardzhiev-Chaga,

Museum, Amsterdam,

©

London 2001; 167.

164.

Exhibition

Photo:

Courtesy Foundation

(top).

Museum,

State Russian

Courtesy

Petersburg;

Cultural

Petersburg; 98-100. Photo:

Petersburg State

St.

ROSIZO State Museum

State

Kunstsammlung

94. Photograph by Nikolai Suentin,

Basel;

Vilij

Kupferstichkabinett,

Kunstsammlung

Offentliche

Museum,

Russian

Amsterdam/

Khardzhiev-Chaga,

Heald, courtesy The Judith

Photo: David

185.

Rothschild Foundation;

Foundation Courtesy Cultural Center Khardzhiev-Chaga, Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum, 186.

Amsterdam; 187. Art,

New

©

Museum

2001 The

of

Modern

York; 189. Rheinisches Bildarchiv, Cologne;

191. Photo: Peter Schalchli; 193. Courtesy Stedelijk

Museum, Amsterdam, Memorial

Museum

of

Kawamura

Courtesy

Sakura, Japan;

Art,

Foundation

Courtesy

196-9.

195

Modern

Center

Cultural

Museum, Amsterdam; 201. © 2001 The Museum of Modern Art, New York; 202-03. Courtesy Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; 204. © State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg; 205-06. © CNAC/MNAM/Dist. Reunion des Musees Nationaux/Art Resource, NY; 207 Khardzhiev-Chaga,

Rheinisches

Amsterdam/Stedelijk

Cologne; Reunion des

©

Nationaux/Art Resource, NY; 209. Gallery, St.

Moscow; 211-13.

Petersburg,

©

Musees

State Tretiakov

State Russian

Courtesy

214.

©

208.

Bildarchiv,

CNAC/MNAM/Dist.

Stedelijk

Museum, Museum,

Amsterdam, 215. Photo by Allan Macintyre, © President and Fellows of Harvard College, 217. Rheinisches

Bildarchiv,

218-23,

Cologne;

225.

©

Museum, St. Petersburg; 227. Courtesy Museum, Amsterdam/lnstituut Collectie

State Russian Stedelijk

Nederland,

228-31.

Rijswijk,

Courtesy Stedelijk

Museum, Amsterdam; 232-33 (left). © State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg; 233 (above), 235-37. Rheinisches Bildarchiv, Cologne; 239, 243-45, 247,

251-52.

©

State Russian

253. Courtesy

Museum, Rakitin;

Vasilii

Petersburg;

St.

257.

©

State

Petersburg; 258. Courtesy (top

left).

©

263 (bottom Courtesy

State Russian right).

Museum,

Rakitin;

254.

Petersburg;

State Russian

255-56. Courtesy Russian Vasilii

Vasilii

Vasilii

Museum,

Rakitin,

Museum,

Courtesy

Vasilii Rakitin.

St.

©

St.

St.

261, 263

Petersburg;

Rakitin;

264.


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